The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday night declined to stop Alabama from executing Kenneth Eugene Smith, who is set to be killed by lethal injection Thursday evening—despite a jury\u0026#039;s recommendation against the death penalty—unless Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey intervenes.\r\n\r\n\u0022Without an intervention, Smith will be executed under a system that is no longer permissible in Alabama.\u0022\r\n\r\nJustice Clarence Thomas referred Smith\u0026#039;s application to the full court, which declined to stay the execution or review the case. There were no dissents mentioned in the brief order.\r\n\r\nSmith\u0026#039;s execution is scheduled for 6:00 pm CT Thursday at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. Smith and John Forrest Parker were sentenced to death for the 1988 killing of Elizabeth Sennett, whose husband, Rev. Charles Sennett, allegedly paid for her murder.\r\n\r\nCharles Sennett killed himself a week after his wife\u0026#039;s death and Parker was executed in 2010. Smith, who was 22 at the time of the crime, was initially convicted in 1989. A jury voted 10-2 in favor of a death sentence, which a judge imposed—but his conviction was overturned in 1992.\r\n\r\nSmith, now 57, was retried and convicted again in 1996. That jury voted 11-1 to recommend life imprisonment without parole, but a judge overrode that decision and sentenced him to death.\r\n\r\nAccording to the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), \u0022At the sentencing hearing, the jury found one aggravating circumstance (that it was a murder for hire) and several mitigating circumstances, including his young age, that he had no significant criminal history, he appeared to be remorseful for what he had done, his good conduct in jail and in counseling family members and others, and that he was neglected and deprived as a young child.\u0022\r\n\r\nAlthough Alabama, in 2017, became the last U.S. state to stop letting judges override a jury\u0026#039;s sentencing recommendation for death penalty cases, the law—signed by Ivey—is not retroactive, so it does not apply to Smith and others in his position.\r\n\r\nIf executed, Smith would be the first person sentenced by judicial override to be killed since the practice was abolished, EJI pointed out earlier this month. The group also noted that \u002230 people who received life verdicts from their juries are still on death row in Alabama despite evidence that override led to arbitrary, unreliable, and unconstitutional death sentences. That\u0026#039;s nearly 20% of the people condemned to death in the state.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSmith\u0026#039;s attorneys wrote to the Supreme Court, \u0022That legislatures throughout the country have abolished or do not permit judicial override of capital jury sentencing determinations constitutes \u0026#039;the \u0022clearest and most reliable objective evidence of contemporary values\u0022\u0026#039; that shows the practice is inconsistent with \u0026#039;evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society\u0026#039; and violates the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution as applied to the states through incorporation into the 14th Amendment.\u0022\r\n\r\nIn what he described as \u0022not a cry for mercy, but a call for justice,\u0022 Alabama Political Reporter editor-in-chief Bill Britt on Wednesday urged the governor to halt Smith\u0026#039;s execution.\r\n\r\nNoting that the state Legislature outlawed judicial override for cases like Smith\u0026#039;s, Britt wrote:\r\n\r\n\r\nIf the practice is unjust now, was it not unjust then?\r\n\r\nWithout an intervention, Smith will be executed under a system that is no longer permissible in Alabama.\r\n\r\nHow is this justice?\r\n\r\nThere is a fair and temporary solution: Gov. Kay Ivey can pause Smith\u0026#039;s execution and allow the state Legislature an opportunity to decide if the 2017 law should be amended to include those who were sentenced to death by judicial override before the legislative act of 2017.\r\n\r\nWould it not be wise to show restraint before executing Smith?\r\n\r\n\r\nBritt added that \u0022based on recent missteps in Alabama\u0026#039;s Department of Corrections\u0026#039; attempts to execute by lethal injection, and the anomalies in Alabama\u0026#039;s death penalty laws, it makes sense to call for a temporary pause\u0022 in the state\u0026#039;s plan to kill Smith.\r\n\r\nSmith\u0026#039;s legal team has also highlighted in court the state\u0026#039;s problems with carrying out lethal injections—specifically, the botched July 28 execution of Joe Nathan James Jr. and the planned killing of Alan Eugene Miller, whose September 22 execution was temporarily called off due to an inability to find a vein.\r\n\r\n\u0022Alabama appears determined to persist with lethal injection, no matter how many executions its officials catastrophically mishandle,\u0022 Reprieve U.S. director Maya Foa told Newsweek Thursday. \u0022Alan Miller, Joe James, and Doyle Lee Hamm were all strapped to the gurney for hours and stabbed repeatedly with needles, but the state is pressing ahead with Kenneth Smith\u0026#039;s execution regardless, using the same broken procedure.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Just last night, in Texas, officials took an hour and a half to kill Stephen Barbee because his disability made it hard to find a usable vein,\u0022 Foa noted. \u0022In Arizona, staff reportedly failed to insert IVs into both Murray Hooper\u0026#039;s arms before inserting a catheter into his femoral vein near his groin.\u0022\r\n\r\nThis \u0022spate of disastrous lethal injection executions shows that whatever the drug, whatever the protocol, condemned prisoners often spend their final hours in agonizing pain and distress,\u0022 she added. \u0022With each gruesome scene in the death chamber, we are witnessing the consequences of persisting with a broken method of execution in real-time.\u0022\r\n\r\nA pair of United Nations experts last month marked the 20th World Day Against the Death Penalty by urging an end to capital punishment across the globe. U.S. President Joe Biden campaigned on working to outlaw the practice at the federal level and pressuring states to follow suit, but progress on either front is unlikely with the GOP set to take control of the House of Representatives in January.