Death Row pensioner gorged on cheeseburger last meal – but execution postponed

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The execution of a 72-year-old Death Row triple murderer has been delayed due at "an oversight in preparation for lethal injection".

Oscar Smith was convicted of killing his estranged wife Judith Smith and her sons Jason Burnett, 13, and Chad Burnett, 16, inside their home in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, on October 1, 1989.

Smith had already gorged on his massive final meal of a double bacon cheeseburger, a deep-dish apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream before the announcement was made that the execution was delayed.

Explaining the delay, Governor Bill Lee announced on Thursday (April 21): "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."

Smith was set to be the first person executed in Tennessee during the Covid pandemic.

The former machinist was 40 when he shot his wife, also stabbing her in the neck several times.

He then shot her eldest son Chad in the face and torso before stabbing and gutting her youngest son Jason.

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All three of the victims were found with slashed throats.

Before the killings Judith had filed several domestic violence charges against him on behalf of herself and her teenage sons.

Smith was in a custody battle with Judith over their 3-year-old twin boys at the time.

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 to prove he was innocent of the brutal murders, with a judge stating Smith’s guilt was extensive.

  • Murder
  • Crime
  • Death Row

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