Madison Co. death row inmate loses appeal to 11th circuit court - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison Co. death row inmate loses appeal to 11th circuit court

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a man convicted of murder in Madison County cannot appeal that decision or the death sentence handed down by a judge.

Ronald Bert Smith shot and killed convenience store clerk Casey Wilson during a robbery on November 8, 1994.

A jury convicted Smith of capital murder. The jury then recommended life in prison without the possibility of parole by a vote of seven to five. The judge did not follow the jury's recommendation and sentenced Smith to death.

During the appeals process Smith was represented by William Massey, of Tennessee, and C. Wade Johnson, of Alabama.

Smith told the Eleventh Circuit Court he did not receive adequate representation because of Johnson's history of crystal methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse.

Smith went on to say that Johnson was on probation for public intoxication while serving as Smith's attorney.

After Smith's Rule 32 Petition was submitted improperly to the Alabama state court in 2001, Johnson was charged with nine counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Johnson committed suicide in 2002.

The Eleventh Circuit Court ruled that because Smith had a second attorney representing him, the missed deadline stands and he does not get another shot at an appeal.

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