Ronald Allen Smith
            Canadian on death row in Montana
    

MONTANA----Canadian national/death row inmate loses another appeal

The only Canadian inmate on America's death row has lost another bid to
avoid execution.

This week the United States Supreme Court denied a petition for review
from Ronald Allen Smith, a 43-year-old native Albertan who shot and
killed 2 cousins in a wooded area in Montana.

Smith has been fighting the death penalty since he pleaded guilty to 2
counts of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of deliberate homicide in
1983. Initially requesting the death sentence after shooting cousins
Harvey Madman Jr. and Thomas Running Rabbit Jr., he later changed his mind.

"This is good news for the State of Montana, but not good news for Mr.
Smith," said Flathead County prosecutor Tom Esch. "This is one more step
forward in the process."

With all state appeal options now exhausted, Smith can pursue final
options through the federal court of appeal or request clemency from Gov.
Judy Martz.

"The state proceedings have officially ended," said assistant Attorney
General Mark Fowler from his office in Helena, Mont.

But Smith's lawyer, Don Vernay, was not discouraged by the latest ruling,
which he called "not unexpected."

"We're much more optimistic about our chances to be successful with
appeal at the federal level," he said.

Vernay is also representing Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, who is charged with
killing a boy and serving his remains to unsuspecting neighbors in stews
and pot pies.

5 months ago Michael Roberts, a Pembroke native who sat for years on
death row, won an appeal to Washington's Supreme Court, which overturned
his aggravated 1st-degree murder conviction and lifted the death
sentence.

(source:  Ottawa Sun)
 


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