Alabama Faces Backlash For Experimental Death Sentence Method

Alabama is now employing nitrogen gas, a new kind of lethal injection.

Reports show the state’s last effort to execute Kenneth Eugene Smith in 2022 via lethal injection was unsuccessful and was set to be executed Thursday using nitrogen. It would be the first novel execution procedure since the introduction of lethal injection in 1982.

Nitrogen hypoxia, according to the state, will render the condemned unconscious in a matter of minutes, but opponents have drawn parallels between the execution technique and human experimentation.

Along with Mississippi and Oklahoma, Alabama was the third state to legalize the use of nitrogen gas for capital punishment in 2018.

Because the chemicals needed for the most prevalent form of execution in the US—lethal injections—are becoming more challenging to get, several states are exploring other methods of carrying out the death penalty.

Reports reveal Smith trembled and convulsed for two minutes on the gurney.

The 58-year-old convicted murderer Kenneth Eugene Smith convulsed in spasms similar to seizures as he breathed through a nitrogen-filled mask that cut off his oxygen. After that, he gasped for air for a few minutes until his breath became invisible.

Skeptics voiced their disapproval of the execution’s outcome, claiming it went against the state’s assurance of a swift and painless death.  However, the Alabama attorney general called the execution a textbook case.

Attorney General Steve Marshall said that the nitrogen execution of the convicted murder-for-hire Kenneth Eugene Smith had gone off without a hitch. Marshall added that his office is prepared to assist other states in their pursuit of nitrogen executions.

According to a report, the chemical sector relies on nitrogen. Nitric acid, fertilizers, dyes, nylon, and explosives are all made from it.  An unreactive environment may also be created using nitrogen gas. In electronics, it is used in the creation of transistors and diodes.

Steel mill products, including stainless steel, need large amounts of nitrogen when annealing.

Liquid nitrogen is used as a refrigerant. It is used to store sperm, eggs, and other cell types.

Foods may be flash-frozen to preserve flavor, moisture, color, and texture.