Canada | Law

Canada again objects to death penalty for Blackfeet murders





The Canadian government is once again objecting to the death penalty for a man who was convicted of murdering two young Blackfeet Nation cousins.

Ronald A. Smith, a Canadian citizen, admitted he shot and killed Harvey Mad Man Jr., 24, and Thomas Running Rabbit III, 20, in August 1982. He picked up the men while they were hitchhiking on the reservation.

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is being urged by the Canadian government to grant clemency to Smith. But the Montana Parole Board is recommending that the execution go forward.

"The level and intensity of emotional testimony from both members of Mr. Smith's family and the extended family and friends of his victims, Mr. Madman Jr. and Mr. Running Rabbit Jr., was unprecedented in the experience of the board," the board wrote in a letter to the governor, the Associated Press reported. "Whatever final decision is made by you in this matter will result in continued grief and anguish for some, albeit solely as a result of Mr. Smith's actions."

Family and friends of the victims say Smith has failed to show remorse for the crime.

Get the Story:
Mont. board: No clemency for Canadian on death row (AP 5/21)

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