Oscar Franklin Smith: Tennessee triple murderer, 71, to be executed next month

Since 1989 conviction, Oscar Franklin Smith has been on death row and now he may choose between electrocution and lethal injection as a mode of death


                            Oscar Franklin Smith: Tennessee triple murderer, 71, to be executed next month
Oscar Franklin Smith, a triple murderer from Tennessee, is scheduled to be executed on April 21, 2022 (Photo by Tennessee Department of Corrections)
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Oscar Franklin Smith, a 71-year-old triple murderer from Tennessee, has been informed that he may choose how he wants to die as the US state restarts capital punishment after a two-year break due to a pandemic. Since his 1989 conviction, Oscar Franklin Smith has been on death row. Oscar Franklin Smith, a Tennessee death row convict, was born on March 25, 1950. Smith was found guilty of murdering his estranged wife, Judy Lynn Smith, 35, and her sons Chad Burnett, 16, and Jason Burnett, 13, in Nashville on Oct. 1, 1989, when he was 40 years old.

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According to Murderpedia, Smith, a former machinist from Robertson County, stabbed his ex-wife multiple times after shooting her in the neck. Her eldest son was shot in the left eye, upper chest, and left torso by him. Her younger kid had his neck and abdomen stabbed. Smith was separated from his wife at the time of the murders. Since 1916, 139 individuals have been executed in Tennessee.  After a nine-year break, the state reinstated death punishment in 2018. The most recent execution was that of convicted murderer Nicholas Sutton in February 2020, soon before the Covid pandemic. In Tennessee, inmates who are given the death penalty for crimes committed before 1999 can choose between electrocution and lethal injection, which is the state's default method of execution.

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Previously, the death penalty for death row convicts Oscar Franklin Smith has been postponed due to Covid-19 concerns. However, the stay on executions was lifted by the Tennessee Supreme Court. He is scheduled to be executed in 2022, according to the most recent order. The date for Smith's execution has been scheduled for April 21, 2022. Smith's lawyer, federal public defender Amy D. Harwell, slammed the decision to set Smith's execution date, stating there are still serious questions as to the reliability of his conviction and sentence.

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According to Dailystar, Harwell said in a statement, “less than a week after the state of Oklahoma experienced the botched execution of John Grant, Tennessee has rushed to set an execution date. Tennessee proposes to kill Mr. Smith using the same three-drug protocols that caused Mr. Grant to seize, convulse and vomit before becoming unconscious. Federal litigation remains pending on the Tennessee Department of Corrections’ use of this controversial execution protocol." Smith should not be killed until he has a fair hearing on his claim that the fingerprint evidence in his case was not accurate or reliable, according to Harwell. “It is senseless and shocking to schedule Mr. Smith’s execution while meritorious claims challenging the reliability of his conviction and sentence and the controversial three-drug protocol are pending and have not been heard,” Harwell remarked.

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Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.