Feds ask for clemency for only Canadian on death row in US

Ronald Smith is led out of the courthouse on May 2, 2012 in Deer Lodge, Montana where he made a final, personal bid to avoid the death chamber.



CALGARY -- The only Canadian on death row in the U.S. has had another plea penned on his behalf by the Canadian government.

Last week's letter from Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to Montana Gov. Brian D. Schweitzer, obtained Monday by QMI Agency, requested clemency for convicted murderer Ronald Smith on "humanitarian grounds."

Smith was sentenced to death in 1983 for marching Harvey Mad Man Jr. and Thomas Running Rabbit into a forest and shooting them in the backs of their heads a year prior.

He confessed to the killings.

It was Smith himself who requested the death penalty, which he would later appeal.

The Canadian government has sought clemency for Smith before.

Asked for comment on this latest request to see Smith spared, however, Baird's press secretary Rick Roth said, "Mr. Smith admitted to the first-degree murder of two Native American men."

"The court order required us to make representations on his behalf," he said. "This should not be construed as sympathizing with his crimes."

Currently, an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging Montana's lethal injection protocol is keeping Smith's execution suspended.
Sun News Videos

Mink farming

Nova Scotia produces half of Canada's mink fur.

Feminist 'consent underwear' spark debate

Do consent underwear just change the conversation from 'rape culture' to 'slut culture'?

Afghanistan's upcoming election

With an election rapidly approaching, change is on its way to Afghanistan. Good or bad, the world is watching.

Ezra Levant’s The Source is the most provocative and thought-changing multimedia show in Canada.

This show is 100% focused on the political battles taking place across Canada, in the United States...even around the world.

Michael Coren brings you strong, balanced opinions to challenge conventional thinking.

Byline brings you the stories you won’t hear anywhere else while exploring points of view that are all too often ignored.