Alabama’s upcoming gas execution could harm witnesses and violate religious liberty (NPR)

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    Alabama’s upcoming gas execution could harm witnesses and violate religious liberty – By Chiara Eisner (NPR) / Dec 12, 2023

    The state of Alabama plans to execute a prisoner in January using nitrogen hypoxia, a process so novel and untested that state officials required the man’s spiritual adviser to sign a waiver that said he could be exposed to the gas. The acknowledgment form, exclusively obtained by NPR, also reveals that the spiritual adviser, Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood, is required to stay at least three feet away from the prisoner, which may violate both their religious liberties.

    If Alabama proceeds with the execution, it will be the first time any U.S. state uses nitrogen gas to put a prisoner to death, but the second time Alabama attempts to execute Kenneth Smith.

    Alabama’s first attempt in 2022 to execute him failed. Before the execution was ultimately called off last year, Smith spent four hours strapped to a gurney as workers tried to insert needles into his veins to inject him with drugs. Smith’s lawyers requested the state use nitrogen gas instead of lethal injection if they attempted another execution.

    Hood had an early warning that this execution might be dangerous.

    CONTINUE > https://www.npr.org/2023/12/12/1218591962/alabamas-upcoming-gas-execution-could-harm-witnesses-and-violate-religious-liber

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