Michael DeWayne Smith scheduled to be executed Thursday at Oklahoma State Penitentiary

Oklahoma is set to carry out the state’s first execution of 2024 and the 12th since capital punishment resumed in 2021.

Death row inmate Michael DeWayne Smith faces execution by lethal injection Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester for two 2002 murders. The execution is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Smith, 41, will become the fourth inmate in the nation this year to be put to death if he doesn’t get a last-minute stay. Alabama, Texas and Georgia already have carried out executions, according to a database kept by the Death Penalty Information Center.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday denied for the fourth time his request for an emergency stay. Smith also was seeking an emergency stay at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Smith claims he is innocent even though he confessed to police. His attorneys also claim he is intellectually disabled.

“I don’t want to die, man,” he told The Oklahoman Monday in a phone interview. “Who can ever be prepared to die, man? I sure don’t want to die for something I didn’t do.”

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