Will Nitrogen Gas Become The New Way To Kill Inmates On Death Row?
It goes without saying there are not many people who can talk about what it’s like to be executed. Kenneth Smith is one of them.
Smith is one of the two living Americans who has survived a lethal injection. Kenneth was convicted of killing Elizabeth Sennett in 1988 after her husband paid him $1000 to carry out the murder. He was a pastor in debt and wanted her his wife’s life insurance.
Last year, Smith survived a botched execution attempt using lethal injection. Now, he could be the guinea pig for death by nitrogen gas.
Oklahoma, Mississippi and Smith’s state of Alabama are the only three states in America where nitrogen has been approved for use as an execution method. It was approved back in 2015 but it’s so controversial, no state has ever tried to kill people this way.
Following the botched execution last year, Alabama’s Attorney General has asked the court for a new date where they plan to use it.
So when oxygen is removed from the body, the body has virtually no kind of stores of oxygen. So the claim is that death will occur reasonably rapidly.
Dr Joel Zivot
On today’s episode of The Briefing, Dr Joel Zivot, an expert on physician participation in lethal injection, joins Katrina Blowers to explain why Kenneth Smith might be the first death row inmate to die from nitrogen gas.
What Alabama intends to do is to apply some sort of a face mask, you know, to a prisoner. Now, of course, in order for the face mask to tightly fit it has to fit so there’s no leaking of air around the edges of the mask.
Subscribe to The Briefing, Australia’s fastest-growing news podcast on Listnr today. The Briefing serves up the latest news headlines and a deep dive into a topic affecting you. All in under 20 minutes.