Man Convicted In 2 Murders From 2002 Denied Clemency, Set To Be Executed In April

Smith's execution is set for April 4th of this year. He's the next person set to be executed, and one of only 10 percent of death row inmates in the nation who is convicted of multiple killings.

Wednesday, March 6th 2024, 5:04 pm

By: News 9


An Oklahoma man will remain on death row after the Pardon and Parole Board denied his plea for clemency. Michael DeWayne Smith was convicted in two separate murders back in 2002.

It was a four to one vote that sealed Smith's fate after presentations from Smith's attorney and representatives for Attorney General Gentner Drummond.

"Her impact lives on and she will never be forgotten," a representative of victim Janet Moore’s family said in an impact statement to the board.

"His sudden death and in such a violent manner has affected our family's lives every day since," the same representative read from a letter written by victim Sharath Pulluru’s brother.

One side of the hearing room was filled with family and friends of Smith, who was convicted in the shooting deaths of Moore, a 40-year-old metro mother and Pulluru, a 24-year-old store clerk, in 2002.

Smith was sentenced to death for the murders, and over 20 years later, that sentence stands.

"Clemency is denied," a moderator called out after the vote was cast.

One side of the room, breaking down in tears, while the other breathed a sigh of relief.

"That jury was right to conclude that Smith poses an ongoing threat to society," the Attorney General’s representative stated.

Smith appeared at the hearing via zoom and maintained his innocence.

"I didn't commit these crimes,” he said. “I didn't kill these people."

Smith's attorney argued Smith is mentally handicapped and shouldn't be put to death. He also claims Smith was not in his right mind at the time of the murders.

"At the time of these homicides he was smoking PCP daily and heavily," Smith’s attorney explained during his presentation.

Smith's taped confession in a police interview was a focal point in his trial, but his supporters say it should have been thrown out because Smith was clearly high on drugs.

"What you saw on that video was someone who was not qualified to talk to the police about the most important day of his life," the attorney added.

Drummond called Smith's claims to innocence "outrageous" when he recommended the board deny clemency last month. Drummond’s representative went over evidence from Smith's trial in detail at Wednesday's hearing, including comparing crime scene photos to Smith's taped confession.

The state claims Smith described details only the killer could have known.

"PCP may be able to alter your mental state, but it can't make you psychic," a representative stated while breaking down Smith’s taped confession.

Drummond released a statement Wednesday that stated:

“I am pleased the Pardon and Parole Board denied clemency for the ruthless killer who took Janet Moore and Sharath Pulluru away from their families. Justice will finally be served for their tragic loss."

Smith's execution is set for April 4th of this year. He's the next person set to be executed, and one of only 10 percent of death row inmates in the nation who is convicted of multiple killings.

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