Alabama might resort to utilizing nitrogen hypoxia as a substitute of deadly injection to hold out a dying sentence, authorities say

The US state of Alabama might use a brand new and untested execution methodology to implement capital punishment on an inmate later this month, an lawyer advised a courtroom on Monday.

In accordance with James Houts, a deputy state lawyer basic, nitrogen hypoxia could also be used to hold out a dying sentence for Alan Eugene Miller, who was convicted of killing three males in a office taking pictures in 1999. The execution date is at present set for September 22 by deadly injection.

Nitrogen hypoxia kills by changing oxygen with nitrogen. The dying row inmate might need to put on a masks or a plastic hood, inhaling nitrogen and succumbing to the gasoline inside minutes with out feeling any ache. This methodology is accredited by Alabama and two different American states for executions, however has by no means been used.

The potential of a brand new methodology being deployed got here up at a current courtroom listening to throughout which Miller apparently tried to cease the punishment from being enforced. The 57-year-old inmate claimed that the correctional officer who was supposed to permit him to go for one other execution methodology 4 years in the past had misplaced the related paperwork.

On this doc, the convict apparently selected this unorthodox execution methodology as a substitute of a conventional deadly injection over a worry of needles. The Alabama lawyer basic’s workplace argued there is no such thing as a proof this had ever occurred.

In accordance with Houts, the ultimate determination on whether or not to permit the untried methodology is as much as Corrections Commissioner John Hamm, with litigation on the matter prone to ensue.

Houts additionally advised the courtroom that the authorities supplied Miller to suit him with a masks for using nitrogen, however the convict refused. Furthermore, Miller’s lawyer indicated that his authorized workforce needs extra info on nitrogen hypoxia, including that they don’t want their shopper to be the take a look at topic for the brand new methodology.

Whereas nitrogen hypoxia is taken into account a humane approach to perform dying sentences, there’s a sure diploma of uncertainty surrounding it. As an example, it’s unclear how the inmates might be pressured to inhale the lethal gasoline, what would occur ought to they maintain their breath or resist, and the way to make sure that guards and guests are protected from poisonous fumes.

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