Montana judge rules method of executing Canadian unconstitutional
Ronald Smith has been on death row for the past 30 years for shooting two men
The Canadian Press
Posted: Sep 6, 2012 7:04 PM MT
Last Updated: Sep 6, 2012 9:47 PM MT
A Montana judge has declared the state's method of execution unconstitutional.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a civil lawsuit in 2008 on behalf of Red Deer man Ronald Smith that argues the lethal injections the state uses to execute people are cruel and unusual punishment and violate the right to human dignity.
District Court Judge Jeffrey Sherlock has agreed, pointing to problems such as lack of training for the individual who administers the drug and how to determine if the inmate is actually unconscious.
Smith's lawyer Don Vernay says it isn't a major victory but will likely result in a delay of at least another year or two as Montana reworks its execution protocol and the matter makes its way back through the courts.
"So right now, you can probably safely say there will be no executions in Montana in the foreseeable future," Vernay said.
Smith, 54, has been on death row since 1983, after he and accomplice Rodney Munro marched cousins Thomas Mad Man Jr. and Harvey Running Rabbit into the woods near East Glacier, Mont., in order to steal their car the year before. Munro stabbed one of them and Smith shot them both in the head.
Smith is awaiting a ruling from Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer on whether he will be granted clemency.
Latest Calgary News Headlines
- Lindale residents preparing for 2nd night away from home
- Wildfires in Brazeau and Strathcona counties are holding, but many residents in Lindale will likely not be permitted to return home today. more »
- Fever medicine for infants, children under recall
- Quality concerns with a Chinese producer of acetaminophen have prompted a recall of four fever medications meant for infants and children. more »
- Calgary school board staff's $15K New Zealand trip questioned
- Calgary's public school board says a $15,000 trip to attend a conference on thinking in New Zealand for its chief superintendant Naomi Johnson and two staff members was worth it. more »
- Trudeau raises environmental questions over pipeline
- Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says a proposed west-east pipeline project will not go forward unless it addresses key environmental concerns. more »
Top News Headlines
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford fires chief of staff
- A week after bombshell allegations that Toronto Mayor Rob ford was videotaped smoking crack, the mayor's chief of staff was fired and Ford is continuing to stonewall reporters. more »
- Federal Court won't remove MPs over robocall allegations
- The Federal Court says it won't throw six MPs out of seats over allegations of widespread vote suppression through automated robocalls in the 2011 federal election. more »
- 2nd suspect in Tim Bosma murder case to plead not guilty
- The lawyer for Mark Smich says the Oakville, Ont., resident will plead not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma, the Hamilton man who disappeared earlier this month after taking two men on a test drive of his truck. more »
- Canada Post campaigns against 'no flyers' mailbox signs
- Canada Post has been mailing more than 900,000 letters across the country to people to try to convince them to remove "no flyer" signs from their mailboxes. more »
- Calgary teen found dead had been in provincial care
- Alberta's pest list includes 60 critters
- Northwest Calgary park set for overhaul
- Southern Alberta braces for heavy rainfall, snow
- Calgary man charged with murder in 2012 killing
- Rain, snow in K-Country prompts rescue of school campers
- Busy parking spots in Calgary may soon cost more
- Liam, Emma, most popular names for Alberta babies
- Animals rescued from shelter in SPCA probe