Kenneth Smith spent almost 30 years in prison. On January 12, 1990, he murdered Green T. Johnson in Detroit.
Prosecutors of Wayne County stated that he did it to get money and drugs from the deceased.
The house was known for selling cannabis. On that day, Smith, accompanied by his friends, planned to rob the place. Smith was armed. He got to the door around 10 p.m. and inquired about “some herbs.” After he got the answer that there wasn’t any, he unwillingly departed.
All these facts were in the letter that the Prosecutor’s Office filed opposing Smith’s discharge.
After a while, Smith suddenly appeared at the front patio, surprisingly attacked Johnson putting his arms around the victim, like hugging him, and then fired a bullet in his head. Prosecutors stated that after stepping inside from the patio, he proceeded shooting at the other two tenants.
He then bludgeoned with his pistol another victim to get marijuana and money. Subsequently, he left the scene with about $2,000 in narcotics. According to Smith’s testimony given at November commutation review, he split his loot in three equal parts with his companions.
Furthermore, Smith described all the details of the murder and stated that at that time he wasn’t aware of what he had done.
At the time of the hearing, Smith was already 28 years in prison. He is now 47 years old. Last winter, he was granted commutation by the Governor at the time, Rick Snyder.
Afterward, Smith was pardoned in March. He was unreachable for an interview.
Previous four reviews, even one in 2016, pointed out that there was no slightest intention for parole. Earlier in 2018, the parole board voted commonly to recommend dismiss of Smith’s request to Snyder. Then Snyder himself denied the application in April last year.
Prosecutors criticized Smith’s release. They said that Smith had a long history of crime and dependency on the criminal lifestyle while living outside. His acts were atrocious, and he was so egotistical and greedy that all his demeanor progressively led to murder.
In November, Smith stated that he now has great faith and respect for rules and he was sincerely remorseful.
He added that he is fully aware that nothing he says or do won’t bring back his victim. He couldn’t take away the pain and heal the family’s broken hearts. He furthermore stated that at the time of the crime, he didn’t have any respect for the law.
After his words, he grew up in a broken home and raised by parents who were drug abusers. They are deceased now. His childhood was all about selling drugs and getting stoned.
Moreover, he started to sell narcotics when he was ten years old. At 12 came drinking and using drugs. Because he was selling heroin and crack, he was expelled from high school. He was in the 10th grade.
He thought that it was a proper way of living because he was able to look after himself, admitted Smith. He added that he acknowledged his guilt before 15 years and that the community can feel safe because people that he is socializing now are entirely different.