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First nitrogen execution was a ‘botched’ human experiment, Alabama lawsuit alleges

Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama death row inmate has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of nitrogen gas execution. The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Alabama alleges the January execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith by nitrogen gas was “a human experiment that officials botched miserably.” The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment that the current nitrogen gas asphyxiation protocol violates the inmate’s constitutional right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment. Alabama last month became the first state to use nitrogen gas to put an inmate to death. Nitrogen gas is authorized in three states — Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi — but no state had previously attempted to use it.

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Associated Press


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