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Home News Killer’s Bizarre Execution Method Triggers Death Penalty Debate

Killer’s Bizarre Execution Method Triggers Death Penalty Debate

Killer’s Bizarre Execution Method Triggers Death Penalty Debate

( – By using a revolutionary, never-before-used technique of execution, Alabama might become the first state to put a prisoner to death by making him breathe pure nitrogen.

On August 25, the office of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall sought the Alabama Supreme Court in a court document to set a date for Kenneth Eugene Smith’s execution.

Smith was convicted and given the death penalty for the murder-for-hire killing of a preacher’s wife in the 1980s.

In a statement, Mr. Marshall stated that it was “a travesty” that Kenneth Smith, who had been found guilty of the atrocious murder-for-hire killing of Elizabeth Sennett, had been spared the death penalty for almost 35 years.

According to a news release from the attorney general’s office, the court filing to the state’s highest court also stated that Alabama intends to execute Mr. Smith using nitrogen hypoxia.

Three states, including Alabama, have legalized the technique of execution, although it has never been used.

Although people breathe roughly 78 percent nitrogen, safe when combined with oxygen, the execution procedure will make the prisoner breathe only nitrogen.

According to some experts, the procedure will deprive the death row inmate of oxygen before causing them to pass out “within a minute” and eventually die.

Charles Blanke, a professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, stated in a Fox News interview that if a prisoner were placed in a pure nitrogen environment, they would go unconscious within a minute (perhaps even after a breath or two) and die shortly after.

Its failure rate, or the proportion of cases where the prisoner lives, would probably be far lower than what we observe with the death sentence as it is practiced today.

The execution technique’s proponents assert that it would be painless.

Opponents, however, have claimed that it effectively involves conducting human experiments.

The Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that offers legal representation to those who may have been denied a fair trial, told the Associated Press that “no state in the nation has executed a person using nitrogen hypoxia and Alabama is in no position to experiment with a completely unproven and unused method for killing someone.”

Due to a lack of medications for performing lethal injections, Alabama allowed nitrogen hypoxia in 2018.

However, up to this point, the state has not sought to utilize it to carry out a death sentence. Mississippi and Oklahoma have also approved nitrogen hypoxia but haven’t used it yet.

One academic, however, said that Alabama most certainly need not demonstrate the humaneness of a pure nitrogen-based execution.

According to Corinna Barrett Lain, a law professor at Richmond University, “the burden is on the condemned inmate to prove that it is torturous rather than being on the state to prove that it is not.”

“The firing squad is probably the most compassionate mode of execution,” according to Ms. Lain.

Alabama has been working on the nitrogen hypoxia execution method but hasn’t said anything about its objectives. The specifics of how the execution will be carried out were not detailed in the attorney general’s court brief.

Last month, John Hamm, the Commissioner of Corrections, told reporters that a protocol was almost finished.

While this is going on, several Alabama prisoners, including Mr. Smith, have argued that they should be let to die from nitrogen hypoxia instead of being put to death via lethal injection.

The pastor of the Westside Church of Christ in Sheffield, Alabama, allegedly intended to hire a hitman to kill his wife in March 1988 after accruing significant debts and engaging in extramarital relations, according to the Alabama attorney general’s office.

After taking out a sizable life insurance policy on his wife, Elizabeth Sennett, the pastor, Charles Sennett, devised a plan to kill his wife.

According to the press announcement, Mr. Sennett later paid Mr. Smith and John Parker, a friend of Mr. Smith, $1,000 apiece for killing Mrs. Sennett.

According to the press statement, she was “ambushed,” beaten, and stabbed numerous times before she passed away. Mr. Sennett killed himself and was not prosecuted a week after his wife was murdered.

1989 and 1996 saw two separate murder trials for Mr. Smith. Both times, he was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death.

At the Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama, Mr. Parker, who had been found guilty and given the death penalty, was executed by lethal injection in July 2010 for the murder of Mrs. Sennett.

Minutes before the execution started, the U.S. Supreme Court refused a stay request.

“I apologize. Before being executed, Mr. Parker told the woman’s family, “I don’t ever expect you to forgive me. I sincerely apologize.

The execution was “one of the steps we have to take to get closure and justice,” Charles Sennett said at the time, adding, “we still have another step with Smith, but tonight was a step in the right direction.”

Copyright 2023.


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