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Prison commissioner: No evidence inmate suffered

Alabama's prison commissioner says there were no visible signs that an inmate suffered during an execution last night.

Commissioner Jeff Dunn issued the statement Friday on the execution of inmate Ronald Bert Smith Jr.

Dunn says Smith coughed early in the execution Thursday night, "but at no time ...was there observational evidence that he suffered."

Witnesses reported that the 45-year-old prisoner heaved and coughed repeatedly for 13 minutes during the execution. His hand also appeared to move slightly after a consciousness test.

Smith's attorneys say his movements demonstrate that he wasn't anesthetized.

Dunn said prison officials followed an established protocol that's been upheld by the courts. He said an autopsy will determine if there were any irregularities.

Smith was executed for killing convenience store clerk Casey Wilson during a 1994 robbery.

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