October 20, 2021

DON SURBER: Forget her murderer. Who was Sharma Ruth Johnson?

Newsweek ran a sob story about Willie B. Smith III, the man who murdered Sharma Ruth Johnson, 22, on the night of October 26, 1991. She was at an ATM. He did not know her. He asked her for directions to a fast-food restaurant.

Then he pulled a sawed-off shotgun, ordered her into his trunk, and with his girlfriend, Angelica Willis, cleaned out the last $80 from her bank account.

The Trussville (Alabama) Tribune reported, “The suspects then drove to Huffman to pick up Willis’ brother. Angelica Willis testified that once her brother learned the woman was in the trunk, he taunted her. The three then drove to Zion Memorial Cemetery, where Smith shot Johnson, execution-style. Willis said before the shooting she and her brother tried to tell Smith he didn’t have to kill her. She said Smith told Johnson, ‘I’m going to have to kill you’ because he thought she would call the police. He then shot her in the head.

“A secret recording of Smith explaining to his friend what happened was later played in court.”

He randomly picked out a stranger and then executed her for $80.

Newsweek made him a hero with its “Who Is Willie Smith? Alabama Death Row Inmate With IQ in the 70s Set to be Executed.”

The magazine did not disclose Sharma Ruth Johnson’s IQ.

The liberal argument is he is too stupid to be executed.

And yet he was not too stupid to execute a woman for a lousy $80.

To be fair, a lot of folks at Newsweek have an incentive to promote the “too stupid” defense.

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