Oldest Death Row inmate told he’ll be executed this week as final appeal fails

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The oldest man on Death Row in the USA has had his latest appeal rejected meaning he will be executed this week.

Oscar Smith, 72, stabbed and shot his estranged wife, Judith Smith, and her sons Jason and Chad Burnett, 13 and 16, at their Nashville home in 1989.

The convict has always maintained his innocence and begged the Tennessee Supreme Court to reopen his case after an unknown person’s DNA was found on one of the murder weapons.

However, the state ruled that the death row inmate had not provided any evidence he was innocent of the brutal murders, with a judge stating Smith’s guilt was extensive.

In making their decision, the Tennessee judge referenced the repeated prior threats Smith had made to his family as well as a life insurance policy he had taken out for the three victims.

When Smith is put to death by lethal injection on Thursday (April 21), he will become the first inmate to die in Tennessee since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Smith is not the only convict who will be put to death in the states this month.

Richard Bernard Moore, of South Carolina, who was found guilty of killing a shop assistant will be executed by a firing squad.

It comes after a law passed last year, which allows electrocution to be the default execution method, offering prisoners the option to face three prison workers with rifles as an alternative.

According to nonprofit Death Penalty Information Centre, South Carolina is one of eight states to still use electrocution and one of four to approve a firing squad.

Moore wrote in a statement that he doesn't believe that either method is legal or constitutional but said he opposed death by the electric chair more.

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The 57-year-old said: "I believe this election is forcing me to choose between two unconstitutional methods of execution, and I do not intend to waive any challenges to electrocution or firing squad by making an election."

Moore was convicted of killing convenience store worker James Mahoney in Spartanburg in 1999 after he went into the store searching for money to support his cocaine habit.

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