Alabama executes prisoner with new nitrogen asphyxiation method
10:24, Friday, 26 January, 2024
Alabama executed convicted murderer Kenneth Smith by asphyxiating him with nitrogen gas on Thursday, the first use of a new method of capital punishment that the state is advancing as a simpler alternative to lethal injections. The state has called its new protocol "the most painless and humane method of execution known to man." United Nations human rights experts and lawyers for Smith had sought to prevent it, saying the method was risky, experimental and could lead to a torturous death or non-fatal injury.
Smith, convicted of a 1988 murder-for-hire, was a rare prisoner who had already survived one execution attempt. In November 2022, Alabama officials aborted his execution by lethal injection after struggling for hours to insert an intravenous line's needle in his body.