Ronald Smith Clemency Hearing concludes
The clemency hearing for Ronald Smith concluded this afternoon in Deer Lodge at the Powell County Courthouse. Ronald Smith was convicted of a double murder in 1982 and had requested that Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer grant him clemency, effectively trading his death sentence for life without parole.
The hearing was filled with impassioned testimony from both sides. Member of the Blackfeet tribe, relatives of the victims were on hand and according to the Great Falls Tribune, called Smith "scum of the earth" and requested the death penalty be carried out. Smith's sister, Rita Duncan,testified to the parole board that her brother is a changed man.
The Board of Pardons and Parole will make a recommendation to Governor Schweitzer, the only person able to grant clemency. That recommendation is expected the week of May 21st.