U.S. prepares for its first-ever execution using nitrogen gas tomorrow A historic event is on the horizon

U.S. prepares for its first-ever execution using nitrogen gas tomorrow A historic event is on the horizon

First-Ever Nitrogen Gas Execution in the U.S.

The United States is poised to witness its inaugural execution by nitrogen gas on January 25, marking a significant departure from traditional execution methods.

Kenneth Smith’s Case

Kenneth Smith, a 58-year-old hitman from Alabama, had previously received a death sentence for the 1988 murder of a woman on behalf of her preacher husband.

Originally scheduled for lethal injection in November 2022, Smith’s execution was marred by a botched attempt.

Alabama’s Decision to Use Nitrogen

Alabama, one of only three states permitting nitrogen executions, opted to carry out Mr. Smith’s death sentence using this unconventional method.

Execution Procedure and Timing

The execution is scheduled to take place between 2 am Thursday and 6 am Friday central time.

This time frame allows legal teams the opportunity to file last-minute appeals during the process.

Preparations and Restraints

Similar to lethal injection procedures, Mr. Smith will undergo a strip search and be restrained on a gurney with his arms and legs secured by guards.

Nitrogen Gas Administration

Once secured, Mr. Smith will be fitted with a ‘Type-C full facepiece supplied air respirator,’ a mask typically used in industrial settings for oxygen delivery.

In this case, it will administer pure nitrogen, rendering him unable to move his limbs.

Activation of Nitrogen Hypoxia System

Following the reading of the death warrant and any last words from Mr. Smith, the executioner will activate the ‘nitrogen hypoxia system.’

Duration and Controversy

Officials claim it should take a few seconds for the nitrogen to render Mr. Smith unconscious, with death expected within five to fifteen minutes.

However, concerns have been raised by experts, citing potential pain, humiliation, and the risk of a vegetative state or choking on vomit.

Ethical and Legal Scrutiny

The American Veterinary Medical Association deems the nitrogen gas method too cruel for most animals due to its distressing suffocation process.

Additionally, United Nations officials have expressed concerns about potential violations of human rights treaties prohibiting torture or degrading treatment.

In light of these controversies, the execution raises ethical questions about the use of nitrogen gas as a means of capital punishment in the United States.

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