Oldest TX Death Row Inmate Dies

HOUSTON (AP) – The oldest condemned man in Texas has died at age 78 of natural causes.

Jack Harry Smith died Friday at the medical facility located at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas, according to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Smith had been in poor health for years and was taken from death row to the medical facility last week.

Smith was condemned in 1978 for shooting a man trying to stop him and an accomplice during a $90 robbery of a Houston store. Only three of the some 250 prisoners now awaiting execution in Texas have been on death row longer.

In a 2001 interview with The Associated Press, Smith said he was angry “at the courts for wasting taxpayers’ money for giving me this hospitality.”

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