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Inmate set for execution chooses double cheeseburger, apple pie, ice cream as last meal

Smith’s execution scheduled for Thursday would mark the return of executions in the state since 2020 after they were put on hold due to COVID-19.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — 72-year-old Oscar Franklin Smith, scheduled to be executed on Thursday evening, has selected his last meal.

He was convicted of murder in the 1989 triple slayings of his estranged wife Judy Lynn Smith and her two sons from a previous marriage, Chad and Jason Burnett, in Nashville. He was sentenced to death for all three killings.

Smith’s lethal injection scheduled for Thursday would mark the return of executions in the state after they were put on hold in 2020 for a governor-imposed moratorium due to COVID-19. Smith originally had been sentenced to die on June 4, 2020.

Smith has selected his last meal to be a double bacon cheeseburger, deep-dish apple pie, and vanilla bean ice cream. The meal will be provided to Smith on Thursday at 4:12 p.m.

The Tennessee Department of Correction placed Smith on "death watch" late Monday night.

The three-day “death watch” includes strict guidelines “to maintain the security and control of the offender and to maintain safe and orderly operations of the prison,” TDOC said. Officials have moved Smith to a cell near the execution chamber, and a team of correctional officers will watch him 24 hours per day.

Smith was granted the following:

  • Regular meals. The offender can request, within reason, a special meal on the final day before the execution
  • Legal materials if requested
  • Clean laundry as needed
  • Appropriate clothing for the mortician if clothing is not provided by family
  • Mail privileges, except for packages
  • A telephone outside the cell to make personal or legal calls (warden approves personal calls)

Smith is only allowed the following items in his cell:

  • Hygiene items such as a tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush, a bar of soap and toilet tissue
  • Stationery (12 sheets), 3 stamped envelopes and one pencil that will be in the possession of a correctional officer when not in use
  • One set of clothing and one set of undergarments
  • Religious materials issued by the chaplain
  • Legal documents as requested
  • One television outside the cell
  • Medication prescribed by the facility’s physician and issued and used under direct supervision only
  • Not more than one requested newspaper at a time in the cell

TDOC said Smith can only receive visitors who are on the offender’s official visitation list while on death watch.

“All visits are non-contact until the final day before the execution at which time the warden decides if the offender can have a contact visit,” TDOC said.

On Sunday, opponents of the death penalty rallied in downtown Nashville to protest the execution of Smith. The march included members from several churches, former death row prisoners, and numerous others. The march started at Riverbend Maximum Security Prison Institution and ended at the Legislative Plaza. Participants walked for three hours.

Governor Bill Lee also released a statement Tuesday night, saying he would not intervene in the execution of Oscar Smith. The statement is below.

“After thorough consideration of Oscar Smith’s request for clemency and an extensive review of the case, the State of Tennessee’s sentence will stand, and I will not be intervening.”

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