Home Posts As States Scramble To Find New Ways To Kill People, Alabama Is Preparing To Execute People With Lethal Gas.
As States Scramble To Find New Ways To Kill People, Alabama Is Preparing To Execute People With Lethal Gas.
Death Penalty

As States Scramble To Find New Ways To Kill People, Alabama Is Preparing To Execute People With Lethal Gas.


In a court filing earlier this month, Alabama’s corrections chief revealed that the agency is “nearing completion of the initial physical build for the nitrogen hypoxia system.” In other words, it is almost ready to use lethal gas to execute people on the state’s death row.

Alabama is one of several states developing new — and untested — methods of legally killing people. In recent years, the drugs used to execute people by lethal injection have become both increasingly difficult to obtain and subject to legal scrutiny in the courts. States determined to continue using capital punishment have thus set out in search of new methods to end a human life, from

In 2018, Alabama became the third state to legalize execution by nitrogen gas, a process in which the individual inhales nitrogen through a gas chamber or a gas mask and dies of asphyxiation. Until recently, this process was hypothetical; no state had ever executed a prisoner in this manner, and even states that allow it lacked the capability to carry out such a killing.

Proponents of capital punishment claim that the process will result in a quick, humane death; however, nitrogen hypoxia executions have the same moral issues as other death penalty practices. There is no medical or scientific evidence to back the claim that any execution method is reliably painless, and there probably never will be, because it is medically unethical for a doctor to research the best way to execute someone.

Instead, pro-death penalty politicians and policymakers with no medical expertise are pushing a killing technique they believe will be both logistically viable and appear humane, regardless of the actual suffering experienced by the condemned. “It’s almost by definition an experimental process,” Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told The Associa

Following the high-profile botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma in 2014, states began looking to nitrogen hypoxia as an alternative to lethal injection. Lockett writhed and groaned in apparent pain after being injected with an experimental combination of drugs, and when it became clear that the killing was not going as planned, executioners removed the needle from his body.

After Lockett's death, which was described as "deeply disturbing" by then-President Barack Obama, Oklahoma suspended executions, but death penalty supporters were eager to find another way to resume the killings, and Mike Christian, a Republican state representative at the time, had a plan.

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine."

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources.

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources..Christian, who previously stated that he didn't care whether executioners used "lethal injection, the guillotine, or if we feed them to the lions," claimed in 2015 that "we have come up with a fool-proof method for a humane execution."

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources..Christian, who previously stated that he didn't care whether executioners used "lethal injection, the guillotine, or if we feed them to the lions," claimed in 2015 that "we have come up with a fool-proof method for a humane execution."."

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources..Christian, who previously stated that he didn't care whether executioners used "lethal injection, the guillotine, or if we feed them to the lions," claimed in 2015 that "we have come up with a fool-proof method for a humane execution.".".Oklahoma became the first state to legalize nitrogen gas executions in 2015, about a year after Lockett's death, and Mississippi and Alabama followed suit soon after.

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources..Christian, who previously stated that he didn't care whether executioners used "lethal injection, the guillotine, or if we feed them to the lions," claimed in 2015 that "we have come up with a fool-proof method for a humane execution.".".Oklahoma became the first state to legalize nitrogen gas executions in 2015, about a year after Lockett's death, and Mississippi and Alabama followed suit soon after..Since then, lethal injection executions have drew even more attention.

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources..Christian, who previously stated that he didn't care whether executioners used "lethal injection, the guillotine, or if we feed them to the lions," claimed in 2015 that "we have come up with a fool-proof method for a humane execution.".".Oklahoma became the first state to legalize nitrogen gas executions in 2015, about a year after Lockett's death, and Mississippi and Alabama followed suit soon after..Since then, lethal injection executions have drew even more attention..Autopsies of people who were executed by lethal injection reveal pulmonary edema, a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid, creating the painful sensation of suffocation or drowning.

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources..Christian, who previously stated that he didn't care whether executioners used "lethal injection, the guillotine, or if we feed them to the lions," claimed in 2015 that "we have come up with a fool-proof method for a humane execution.".".Oklahoma became the first state to legalize nitrogen gas executions in 2015, about a year after Lockett's death, and Mississippi and Alabama followed suit soon after..Since then, lethal injection executions have drew even more attention..Autopsies of people who were executed by lethal injection reveal pulmonary edema, a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid, creating the painful sensation of suffocation or drowning..The federal government is battling the legality of its lethal injection protocol in court.

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources..Christian, who previously stated that he didn't care whether executioners used "lethal injection, the guillotine, or if we feed them to the lions," claimed in 2015 that "we have come up with a fool-proof method for a humane execution.".".Oklahoma became the first state to legalize nitrogen gas executions in 2015, about a year after Lockett's death, and Mississippi and Alabama followed suit soon after..Since then, lethal injection executions have drew even more attention..Autopsies of people who were executed by lethal injection reveal pulmonary edema, a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid, creating the painful sensation of suffocation or drowning..The federal government is battling the legality of its lethal injection protocol in court..Drug companies are so wary of supplying their products for use in the killings that the federal government recently purchased the drugs from a secret pharmacy that failed a quality test.

According to The Appeal, Christian had watched a BBC documentary titled "How to Kill a Human Being," in which a former British conservative politician investigates various methods of execution and declares a nitrogen mask to be the "perfect killing machine.".” At Christian's request, three people with no medical training compiled a 14-page report on the merits of nitrogen hypoxia as a form of capital punishment, citing The National Review and Slate as sources..Christian, who previously stated that he didn't care whether executioners used "lethal injection, the guillotine, or if we feed them to the lions," claimed in 2015 that "we have come up with a fool-proof method for a humane execution.".".Oklahoma became the first state to legalize nitrogen gas executions in 2015, about a year after Lockett's death, and Mississippi and Alabama followed suit soon after..Since then, lethal injection executions have drew even more attention..Autopsies of people who were executed by lethal injection reveal pulmonary edema, a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid, creating the painful sensation of suffocation or drowning..The federal government is battling the legality of its lethal injection protocol in court..Drug companies are so wary of supplying their products for use in the killings that the federal government recently purchased the drugs from a secret pharmacy that failed a quality test..

Even getting the drugs into a person's bloodstream can be difficult. In 2018, an execution team in Alabama spent about two hours attempting to inject a man named Doyle Lee Hamm, whose veins had been damaged by intravenous drug use and chemotherapy. The executioners eventually gave up, leaving Hamm urinating blood, possibly from a punctured bladder.

Although it is clear that lethal injection has failed to live up to its promise as a humane method of execution, there is no evidence that nitrogen hypoxia would be a better alternative. The limited information available about the use of nitrogen as a killing agent comes from euthanizing some small animals, as well as studying industrial accidents and suicides.

None of these scenarios resemble the conditions of an execution, in which a person could hold their breath or otherwise attempt to fight for their life. The American Veterinary Medical Association stated in its 2020 euthanasia guidelines that, while hypoxia caused by nitrogen exposure may be an acceptable way to kill chickens, turkeys, and pigs under certain conditions, it should not be used.

Alabama is actively preparing for nitrogen executions, according to a lawsuit filed by a man on the state's death row named Charles Burton Jr. Burton, who is Muslim, sued the state's corrections department in 2019 in an effort to compel the agency to provide for an imam to be present as his spiritual adviser in the event of his execution.

In addition to the three states that allow nitrogen hypoxia as a method of execution, four other states allow the use of lethal gas to kill people on death row. According to the Guardian, Arizona is currently refurbishing its gas chamber to kill people using hydrogen cyanide, the same gas that Nazis used in its gas chambers in Auschwitz.

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