An intellectually disabled man convicted of the brutal 1991 kidnap and murder of a woman in a cemetery has been executed.

Willie B Smith abducted Sharma Ruth Johnson at gunpoint at a cash machine in Birmingham, Alabama and then shot her dead after stealing less than $100 from her, said prosecutors.

Smith, who rejected a final meal, was executed by lethal injection at a state prison in Alabama on Thursday night.

Governor Kay Ivey said after the execution: Sharma Ruth Johnson was abducted at gunpoint, threatened while in the trunk of the car, terrorised, assaulted, and ultimately, Willie B Smith brutally killed her.

“In that final moment of this young lady’s short life, Mr Smith, after learning Ms Johnson was related to a law enforcement officer, made the choice to put a shotgun to her head, stealing this woman’s future.

“Even after these heinous crimes were committed, Mr Smith made the choice to burn the vehicle to hide his fingerprints.

“He knew full well he was doing wrong. This was an absolutely horrendous act against Ms Johnson. It is also an attack on our men and women in blue.

“In dealing with this unimaginable and tragic loss, her loved ones have endured years of Mr Smith attempting to avoid due punishment and then a delayed execution earlier this year.

“Mr Smith had more time on death row than Ms Johnson had in this life.”

The governor added: “The evidence in this case was overwhelming, and justice has been rightfully served.

“The carrying out of Mr Smith’s sentence sends the message that the state of Alabama will not tolerate these murderous acts. I pray that the loved ones of Ms Johnson can be closer to finding peace.”

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall added: “Finally, the cruel and unusual punishment that has been inflicted upon them – a decades long denial of justice – has come to an end.”