Execution by Nitrogen Gas

This week death by nitrous hypoxia was conducted in a U.S. prison. It was the first occasion ever to utilize this controversial method of execution. Instead of proceeding in a “absolutely painless” manner as expected, Kenneth Smith “struggled to breathe” for 22 minutes before he died.

Alabama is one of only three U.S. states, including Oklahoma and Mississippi, to approve this method of dying which causes death by replacing oxygen in the lungs with a high concentration of nitrogen. Witnesses describe Smith’s death as a “horror show. “His body “shook and writhed” during the procedure and it was not clear when he lost consciousness. These distinctions are important since 43 inmates on Alabama death row have requested this form of execution.

“Execution is a very specific kind of
punishment, and no punishment,
according to the US Constitution,
can be carried out in a cruel fashion,”
Dr. Joel Zivot, an associate professor

of anesthesiology and surgery at Emory
University, told CNN. “And so the only
real question is: Is execution
with nitrogen gas cruel?”

Last year the gas distributor Airgas announced that it refuses to supply nitrogen for Alabama executions. According to its website, Airgas, now owned by the French company Air Liquide, is now the largest U.S. distribution network in the packaged gas industry. It should also be noted that the American Veterinary Medical Association has long rejected nitrogen as an acceptable method for euthanizing animals, and that Nitrogen Asphyxiation is not advised by the Equal Justice Initiate for terminal patients in states where medically assisted dying is legal.

For decades research has been conducted to find a “painless procedure” for executing convicted criminals. CNN has stated there’s no such thing as ‘humane execution.” Amnesty International asks Is There Humane Way of Execute? The World Congress Against the Death Penalty held in 2022 has called for a a global moratorium on capital punishment. Most developed countries, have abolished the practice of capital punishment either in law or in practice; notable exceptions are the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, China, India and most Islamic states.

July 4, 1965
Kenneth Eugene

Kay Ellen

Kenneth Eugene Smith was born on a Sunday in the zodiac sign of Cancer. His INNER SELF is ruled by The Sun and his OUTER SELF is governed by the Moon. Those born in Cancer are usually sensitive and sympathetic, but they can act against their own interests. It is common for a Sunday’s Child’s to take control of things which overrides the softer instincts of the Moon.

Kay Ellen Ivey was born on a Sunday in the zodiac sign of Libra. Her INNER SELF is ruled by the Sun and her OUTER SELF is governed by Venus. Fairness and equality are attributes are said to appeal to her Libra Sun, but difficult to put into practice. Sunday’s Children definitely have their personal preferences and can be very judgmental when their high standards are not met.

These two strong-willed individuals were both born on Sunday. Smith and Ivey, like everyone else born on this day of the week, feel that their concerns are of the greatest importance. No other Child of the Planets feels the discomfort of submission as deeply as Sunday’s child, but it is a lesson that they all must learn sometime, somewhere, but maybe not in the here and now. The more mature Sunday types accept responsibilities and can be trusted with leadership roles.

Kenneth Eugene Smith committed a gruesome murder and Ivey, the current governor of Alabama, made the decision to execute Smith with Nitrogen Gas. She cannot accept that she has committed the crime of ordering an untested method of taking life. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, condemned her use of nitrogen gas to administer Smith’s death penalty as it amounted to a new form of torture. In fact it sounds exactly like The Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Having failed to kill Smith on its first attempt,
Alabama has selected him as its ‘guinea pig’ to test
a method of execution never attempted before,”

stated Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
“The world is watching.”

One Reply to “Execution by Nitrogen Gas”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *