Alabama plans to execute a man using nitrogen gas. How will it work? Few know (NBC News)

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    Alabama plans to execute a man using nitrogen gas. How will it work? Few know – By Abigail Brooks and Erik Ortiz (NBC News) / Dec 28, 2023

    Kenneth Eugene Smith, convicted in a 1988 murder-for-hire plot, could become the first death row inmate put to death by nitrogen hypoxia in the U.S.

    ATMORE, Ala. — Alabama is poised to use nitrogen gas in a planned execution next month, the first state to attempt such a method, setting the stage for legal challenges as officials across the U.S. examine alternatives amid a shortage of lethal injection drugs.

    But while Alabama is intent on using nitrogen hypoxia, in which a person breathes only nitrogen and dies from a lack of oxygen, some details of the protocol remain cloaked in mystery to the public.

    Even the inmate who is set to die, Kenneth Eugene Smith, told NBC News this month that he is not privy to an unredacted state protocol describing how the procedure will work. His legal and medical representatives were permitted this month to tour the execution chamber and inspect a mask for breathing the nitrogen, but without Smith.

    CONTINUE > https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alabama-plans-execute-man-using-nitrogen-gas-will-work-know-rcna129814

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