Death Row’s Kenneth Eugene Smith SURVIVED first execution – but is haunted by nightmares

By RockedBuzz 9 Min Read

Kenneth Eugene Smith, who was sentenced to demise for his half within the homicide-for-rent of Elizabeth Sennet in 1988, is to be put to demise once more after a 4-hour execution in 2022.

Kenneth Eugene Smith survived the first attempt to execute him in November 2022

Kenneth Eugene Smith survived the first try and execute him in November 2022

Kenneth Eugene Smith, a person who survived his first execution try, is to face the demise penalty once more, but this time, issues can be completely different.

On November 17, 2022, Smith spent 4 hours strapped to an execution gurney whereas prosecutors tried to elevate a keep of execution issued by a federal appeals court docket. Just a little greater than a 12 months later, Alabama is getting ready to execute former Death Row resident Smith once more.

This time, they plan to make use of a controversial technique of executing nitrogen fuel, which has by no means been used earlier than. The particulars of how this technique, referred to as nitrogen hypoxia, can be carried out should not clear resulting from safety causes.

Elizabeth Sennett, 45, was found dead on March 18, 1988, in the couple's home in Colbert County, Alabama.

Elizabeth Sennett, 45, was discovered lifeless on March 18, 1988, within the couple’s house in Colbert County, Alabama.

Kenneth Eugene Smith is the first prisoner to be executed by nitrogen gas

Kenneth Eugene Smith is the first prisoner to be executed by nitrogen fuel

Smith was sentenced to demise for her position within the homicide-for-rent of Elizabeth Sennet in 1988. Her husband, minister Charles Sennet, employed two different individuals, together with Smith, to kill his spouse and make her appear to be a burglar. Smith was arrested after investigators discovered the Sennets’ VCR in his house.

In November 2022, Smith was positioned on ‘demise row’ on the Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama, the place inmates await his execution. He mentioned goodbye to his mom and grandson and had his final meal earlier than being taken to the demise chamber.

Smith was imagined to be executed by deadly injection, but issues didn’t go as deliberate. At 7.57pm on November 17, guards minimize off Smith’s cellphone name together with his spouse and positioned him in shackles and leg irons to guide him to the demise chamber.

They took him to the execution room and strapped him to the gurney. Two minutes later, in accordance with Smith’s Second Amendment Complaint difficult his execution by deadly injection, the Eleventh Circuit issued a keep of execution. Smith’s attorneys gave this info to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) at 8.02pm.

Elizabeth 'Liz' had two sons, Chuck and Mike, and several grandchildren

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ had two sons, Chuck and Mike, and a number of other grandchildren

Although ADOC responded by saying that they had acquired the orders to cease the execution, Smith remained caught within the whirlpool till midnight – 4 hours after he believed his spouse was protected. During that point, Smith’s grievance alleges that ADOC didn’t inform him of the keep or standing of any of the opposite ongoing authorized proceedings and that he was not allowed to talk together with his lawyer.

Smith thought his execution was imminent at any second. After mendacity on the gurney for 2 hours, the IV staff got here in and tried to insert an IV line. At the identical time, the US Supreme Court lifted the keep, but it is not clear if the IV staff began earlier than or after.

As the IV staff held up Smith with needles, he instructed them that they had damage him by inserting the needle into his muscle. According to the grievance, one of many workers members merely mentioned “No, I’m not.”

Smith was then positioned in an the other way up crucifixion place by workers who left the room for a couple of minutes. When they returned, Smith says he was injected with one thing unknown, which his lawyer believes might have been a sedative or anesthetic.

Smith was strapped to a gurney for hours and had no idea what was happening on the day of his execution

Smith was strapped to a gurney for hours and had no thought what was occurring on the day of his execution

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Then, somebody with “unknown medical credentials” approached Smith and “began stabbing him repeatedly [his] collarbone space with a big needle” in an try and safe a central IV line. According to Smith’s grievance, a jail officer “grabbed and detained [Smith’s] head away from the realm the place the needle was being inserted”.

Smith felt a pointy ache, “like he was being ‘stabbed within the chest’,” when “somebody jabbed him repeatedly … under his collar.” ADOC Commissioner John Hamm introduced to the press on the scene “at roughly 11.21[pm]we determined we would not be capable of full that protocol earlier than midnight when the demise warrant expired.”

But Smith did not know he wasn’t going to die that night time. Around 11.20pm, rumors started that the execution may be suspended, and Smith’s attorneys emailed officers to search out out but acquired no response. Sometime earlier than midnight, the execution staff instructed Smith merely “it is over”.

After 4 hours on the sofa, the other way up, dealing medication and needles, Smith was a multitude. He was shaking, sweating, struggling to breathe, dizzy, and couldn’t even elevate his arms or stroll with out assist.

Because of the botched execution try, Smith now has PTSD and is on numerous meds. His jail physician says he has insomnia, anxiousness and despair.

Kenneth Eugene Smith survived the first attempt to execute him in November 2022

Kenneth Eugene Smith survived the first try and execute him in November 2022

Smith, who is dealing with his second execution try, instructed the Guardian that he had bother sleeping due to fixed nightmares and the “video games in the event you play in the course of the night time”. He shared nightmares over and over when he was introduced again into the demise chamber.

“All I needed to do was stroll into the room within the dream for it to be overwhelming,” he mentioned. “I used to be completely terrified. It simply saved arising.”

News of the second execution try triggered a brand new wave of nightmares for Smith. He mentioned: “I dream that they’re coming to get me.”

As he nears his return to the execution chamber, Smith says his bodily and psychological well being is deteriorating, and he spends most days feeling unwell. He mentioned: “They did not give me an opportunity to heal.

“I’m nonetheless affected by the first execution and now we’re doing this once more. They will not even let me have put up-traumatic stress dysfunction – you already know, this is persistent stress dysfunction.”

He in contrast his scenario to an abuse sufferer being compelled again into the hospital surroundings that traumatized them within the first place. Saying: “An individual who did that will in all probability be seen as a monster. But when the federal government does it, you already know, that is one other factor.”


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