Entries tagged with “Nitrogen Hypoxia

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Jan 26, 2024

The World is Watching”: Witnesses Report Kenneth Smith Appeared Conscious, Shook and Writhed” During First-Ever Nitrogen Hypoxia Execution

On January 25, 2024, Alabama exe­cut­ed Kenneth Smith using nitro­gen hypox­ia, a first in American his­to­ry. Though state attor­neys had assured courts that the method would cause uncon­scious­ness in sec­onds,” wit­ness­es report­ed that Mr. Smith appeared awake for sev­er­al min­utes after the nitro­gen gas began. They observed that he shook and writhed” for at least four min­utes before breath­ing heav­i­ly for anoth­er few min­utes. This was the fifth exe­cu­tion that I’ve wit­nessed in Alabama, and I have nev­er seen such a vio­lent reac­tion to an exe­cu­tion,” said media wit­ness Lee…

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Jan 11, 2024

Federal Judge’s Ruling Will Permit Alabama to Execute Kenneth Smith Using Nitrogen Gas

On January 10, 2024, U.S. District Judge Austin Huffaker denied Kenneth Kenny” Smith’s chal­lenge to Alabama’s intend­ed use of nitro­gen gas to exe­cute him. Although Mr. Smith plans to appeal, the rul­ing cur­rent­ly autho­rizes Alabama to use its new, untest­ed method of nitro­gen hypox­ia to exe­cute Mr. Smith on January 25.

Facts & Research

Recent Legislative Activity

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Methods of Execution

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Feb 02, 2024

Ohio Officials Divided on Death Penalty as Attorney General Pushes New Bill to Legalize Nitrogen Hypoxia for Executions

On Tuesday, January 30, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced new leg­is­la­tion to autho­rize the use of nitro­gen gas in exe­cu­tions in the state. Joined by sev­er­al Republican state rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Louis Tobin of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, AG Yost said that he is seek­ing to kick­start” Ohio’s death penal­ty after a six-year pause in exe­cu­tions due to dif­fi­cul­ties obtain­ing lethal injec­tion drugs. The sta­tus quo is unac­cept­able,” he said. According to the text of the pro­posed bill, H.B. 392, a pris­on­er could elect lethal injec­tion or nitro­gen hypoxia…

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Oct 24, 2023

Use of Nitrogen Hypoxia for Alabama Executions Could Endanger Spiritual Advisors and Prison Staff in the Execution Chamber

In August 2023, Alabama released the first-ever exe­cu­tion pro­to­col for nitro­gen hypox­ia, an untest­ed exe­cu­tion method in which pris­on­ers will be put to death by suf­fo­ca­tion as they are forced to breathe pure nitro­gen gas. Alabama’s heav­i­ly redact­ed pro­to­col pro­vides that pris­on­ers will be fit­ted with a mask and breath­ing tube to con­trol the gas, which will slow­ly deprive them of oxy­gen. However, use of this untest­ed method may also pose dan­gers to spir­i­tu­al advi­sors and prison staff in the exe­cu­tion chamber.