NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Death row inmate Oscar Smith, 72, will not be executed Thursday evening as planned due to an issue with the injection.
“Due to an oversight in preparation for lethal injection, the scheduled execution of Oscar Smith will not move forward tonight. I am granting a temporary reprieve while we address Tennessee Department of Correction protocol. Further details will be released when they are available,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said in a statement.
The announcement was made at 5:46 p.m. Thursday. Previously, the state announced they denied his last filing.
Smith had also been served his last meal at 4:12 p.m. according to the Tennessee Department of Correction. His last meal consisted of a double bacon cheeseburger, deep dish apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream.
Smith was convicted of murdering his estranged wife and her two sons at their Nashville home in 1989.
His execution will be the first the state of Tennessee has carried out since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anti-death penalty advocates were gathered outside Riverbend Prison on Thursday night protesting Smith’s execution.
Many of them were relieved to hear Smith’s death was being postponed, including Father John Boylan.
“The death penalty is I believe inherently unconstitutional. It’s cruel and unusual punishment,” Father John Boylan said. “I hope Governor Lee sees it as a sign. A wake up call, you know?”
The details of the day are limited, but some protestors hope this could lead to a different outcome for Smith’s fate.
“I’m slightly optimistic. I hope Bill lee will reconsider. We’ve been praying for him and praying for Oscar, so we’ll see what happens,” protestor Trey Spires said.
The Tennessee Department of Corrections confirmed that two of the victim’s family members will be witnesses to Smith’s execution.