facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Canadian wants off Montana's death row

Feb. 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM   |   Comments

OTTAWA, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- The only Canadian on death row in the United States says he's disappointed his appeal for help to his government in Ottawa got a lukewarm response.

Ronald Smith, 54, is the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge for the 1982 execution-style shooting deaths of two Blackfoot Indians who stopped to pick him up as he was hitchhiking. He was arrested three weeks later and during his sentencing, asked the judge for the death sentence.

However, the Alberta native told Postmedia News in a telephone interview Wednesday he had sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking for help in his clemency hearing to commute his death sentence to life in prison.

Smith said a return letter he got from Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird didn't hold much promise of swaying Montana's justice department, as it began with a distancing caution that Canada was under order by its Federal Court to act, although the government "does not sympathize with violent crime."

"Obviously, they said that they were backing the petition, but just the substance of the letter -- they left little doubt that they were being forced to do it," Smith said.

Smith has prepared a 19-page brief to present at a clemency hearing in May to commute his death sentence.

If denied, he will be subject to lethal injection later this year, the report said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Six Flags fight leaves boy critically injured, may have been organized on Twitter Six Flags fight leaves boy critically injured, may have been organized on Twitter
2
Body of missing Realtor Beverly Carter found Body of missing Realtor Beverly Carter found
3
Patient admitted to hospital with potential Ebola virus Patient admitted to hospital with potential Ebola virus
4
$900,000 Porsche Spyder catches fire at gas station $900,000 Porsche Spyder catches fire at gas station
5
One shot in Albemarle High School shooting, shooter in custody One shot in Albemarle High School shooting, shooter in custody
Trending News
x
Feedback