US Supreme Court rejects halt of Ronald Smith Jr.'s execution

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a stay of execution for Ronald Smith Jr., the 45-year-old man who was sentenced to death by an Alabama judge for killing a convenience store clerk in 1994. 

According to BuzzFeed, Smith was scheduled to be executed Thursday. Alabama Department of Corrections spokesperson Bob Horton told to BuzzFeed the execution would be carried out as planned if the court didn't issue a stay.

Smith's attorneys had asked the Supreme Court to stop his execution earlier this month, claiming that Alabama's death penalty violated the Constitution due to its likeness to Florida's, which was declared unconstitutional in October. Though Justice Clarence Thomas issued a temporary stay of execution to allow the court to deliberate, the court ultimately rejected the request in a 4-4 vote; "It takes five justices to grant a stay," BuzzFeed reported.

Alabama executioners will use the "three drug method of midazolam, followed by a paralytic and a painful drug that stops the heart" to end Smith's life, BuzzFeed reported. Smith will be the second inmate executed in 2016, with courts having granted stays to two other inmates on death row this year.

Ronald Smith Jr.Uncredited/AP