Execution by nitrogen gas as Alabama Supreme Court made the final call. Alabama is going to become the first state to do execution using nitrogen gas, a highly controversial method. Although Oklahoma and Mississippi have already passed the laws, they have not executed using this method.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court, which consists of republican justices, gave its final verdict on the request of Alabama’s attorney general. This order came 6-2 as two justices disagreed with the method. The court instructed the governor to set a date for the execution. The spokesman of the governor said that the date has yet to be finalized, but the orders of the court would be carried out.
According to the details, the court did not specify the method in its order. Yet, the attorney has been ordered to proceed with the execution, as requested by the attorney general, who asked for the use of nitrogen gas in the execution.
“untested and novel”
“Though the wait has been far too long, I am grateful that our capital litigators have nearly gotten this case to the finish line.” The attorney general said while expressing his gratitude. The execution is going to be done after almost 35 years of murder. The lawyers of Smith have lamented the decision, called it “untested and novel.”
The method still needs to be explained in detail, as it would be the first time such a method would be used. The expected way would be to put a mask on Smith’s face for 15 minutes. The mask would not allow any oxygen. In this way, the convict would be inhaling only nitrogen. Although the air humans inhale contains 78% nitrogen, it is accompanied by oxygen; mere nitrogen leads to death.
The convict, Smith, who, along with another man, committed a murder in 1988 of Elizabeth Sennett in Alabama’s Colbert County. Elizbeth’s husband had paid Smith and Co. each $1000 for his wife’s murder. He claimed to be in debt and was looking to accumulate insurance on behalf of her wife. The husband died one week after Elizabeth’s murder, and the other convicted man was dealt to death in 2010.