By Ariane de Vogue
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has issued a temporary stay in the death penalty case of Ronald Smith, an Alabama death row inmate whose execution was scheduled for later Thursday.
No more information was provided in the brief order.
The case involves Ronald Bert Smith who was convicted in Alabama of the robbery and murder of Casey Wilson, a convenience store clerk.
Lawyers for Smith argue that although the jury rendered a verdict of life without parole, the trial court overrode the jury’s verdict and sentenced Smith to death.
Smith argued in part that he should be given life without parole because Alabama’s sentencing scheme is similar to that of Florida’s which the Court struck down in an opinion called Hurst v. Florida.
Lawyers for Alabama argue that that the case should be allowed to proceed and stress that Hurst v. Florida has no retroactive application to Smith.
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