Alabama seeks to be 1st state to execute an inmate this year

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama would be the first state to carry out an execution this year if it wins final court approval to go ahead with plans to put to death a man convicted of murder. The state scheduled a lethal injection Thursday evening for 51-year-old Willie B. Smith III in the 1991 shotgun slaying of Sharma Ruth Johnson. Prosecutors say the victim was abducted from an ATM location, robbed of $80 and fatally shot in a cemetery. Execution plans were stayed by an appeals court, and there was no immediate decision late Thursday night from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether it would let the lethal injection be carried out.