Alabama will be performing a new method of execution using nitrogen gas on Thursday after an inmate survived the traditional lethal injection in November 2022. If successful, the method will be the latest execution technique to be used since 1982.
Kenneth Eugene Smith was convicted of stabbing Elizabeth Sennett to death in 1988. Smith, along with two accomplices, was hired and paid $1,000 by her husband to kill his wife so he could collect insurance.
The controversial method has raised legal and ethical questions as states grapple with upholding death penalty laws and what are the most humane methods for executing people. Here’s what to know about the latest plan.
What is nitrogen hypoxia?
While nitrogen is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it is one of the most common gasses in our atmosphere, making up 78% of the air humans