This is nitrogen asphyxiation, the death penalty technique that the United States will use for the first time

In Alabama in the southern United States, an American prisoner is executed with nitrogen gas. The state plans to carry it out Kenneth Eugene Smithsentenced to death for murder for more than three decades, a method that had never been used before.

Smith, 58, is the second American prisoner to leave the death chamber aliveas the executioner “spent more than four hours” trying to find the right vein to administer the lethal injection, to no avail.

Smith's lawyers filed a lawsuit alleging that their client was being abused as such guinea pigs to try out this type of execution for the first timeapproved in 2018.

Forced to breathe only nitrogen and without sedation

It is therefore a method that has attracted a lot of criticism. Mario MarazzitiCo-founder of the World coalition against the death penaltyDenounces that this method is used “to kill pigs” and is common in the killing of animals for human consumption, which is why he claims that it will cause great suffering to the prisoner.

When the execution takes place, the prisoner is forced to breathe only nitrogen, which will deprive your brain and other tissues of oxygenleading to their deaths, a method also criticized by UN experts for the suffering it can cause.

“Veterinarians do not want this method to be used to kill animals,” although today It is used “particularly in pigs that have been previously sedated.”something that, as the anti-death penalty activist assured, would not be used on American prisoners.

The implementation of the use of nitrogen gas responds to the Difficulties in obtaining the drugs that make up the lethal injection from the states that still maintain the death penalty because the pharmaceutical companies refuse to allow the death penalty for this purpose.

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Only three states allow the use of nitrogen gas

Currently, there are only three of the 27 states that maintain the death penalty, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Alabama They admit that nitrogen gas was used in executions.

Despite ongoing legal disputes, Alabama state authorities have been working on one for years Protocol to perform executions using this new methodwhich, as they stated in a statement, is that it is “the one that causes the least suffering to prisoners.”

“This is completely false because it has not been proven yet,” said Marazziti, who asked that it be avoided “A global disgrace” with this version. Less than 48 hours before the execution of Kenneth Smith, Marazziti trusts that the “worldwide pressure” on the governor of Alabama, Republican Kay Ivey, will make it possible to prevent the death of the inmate, something she can decide on until “the last minute.” moment” before it happens.

“Silence about this execution is ineffective because it is inhumane”added the co-founder of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, claiming that they are waging “a battle between the culture of life and death.”

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