Canadian on death row calls Ottawa’s support 'tepid'
The Canadian Press
Posted: Feb 23, 2012 12:18 PM MT
Last Updated: Feb 23, 2012 12:16 PM MT
The only Canadian on death row in the United States is expressing regret and sadness for the crimes he committed.
But Ronald Smith says he's also angry at the Canadian government for what he calls "tepid" support of his clemency bid.
The support came in the form a letter to the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole, and only after Canada's Federal Court forced Ottawa to act on Smith's behalf.
"It bothered me," Smith said in an interview with The Canadian Press at Montana State Prison — his home for the last 30 years.
The Board has scheduled a hearing in May after which it will make a recommendation on whether Smith should be spared.
The final decision will fall to the state governor.
Smith is originally from Red Deer, Alta., and has been on death row since 1982.
He was a drug-addicted drifter when he and an accomplice, both high on LSD and booze, marched two men into the woods near East Glacier, Mont., and shot them in the head.
Smith asked for and received a death sentence, but later changed his mind.
He says he is now a different person. "I was a monster at the time. It's not who I am now."
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