Judge orders access to Kenneth Smith following execution attempt

Kenneth Eugene Smith
Kenneth Eugene Smith(Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 3:52 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A United States District Court is ordering the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to allow Kenneth Smith’s attorneys access to him on Saturday and Sunday after Thursday’s execution attempt.

Judge R. Austin Huffaker, Jr. ordered that Smith’s attorneys be allowed to photograph puncture wounds and interview him at the Holman Correctional Facility. He also ordered that ADOC “locate and preserve evidence concerning the attempted execution, including but not limited to notes, emails, texts, and used medical supplies such as syringes, swabs, scalpels, and IV-lines.”

The motion to allow access and preservation was filed on Friday by Smith’s attorneys.

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the state to go ahead with Smith’s execution late in the day on Thursday after a lower court had granted a stay of execution. ADOC, faced with a midnight deadline, acted quickly to move forward with the execution.

At a press conference early Friday morning, ADOC Commissioner John Hamm said that the state had ceased the execution at 11:21 p.m. after an trying to establish venous access for “approximately one hour,” according to Hamm.

“Mr. Smith no doubt has injuries from the attempted execution—and certainly physical and testimonial evidence that needs to be preserved—that can and should be photographed and/or filmed,” reads the motion filed in District Court on Friday.

The motion also notes that Smith was “strapped to a gurney for approximately four hours” on Thursday.

Smith’s attorneys will have three time frames on Saturday and Sunday to meet with him at Holman Correctional Facility to document his injuries as well as interview him about the execution attempt.

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