Alabama Senate Votes To Allow Execution By Nitrogen Gas

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama moved closer to allowing death row inmates to be executed with nitrogen gas, a method that has never been used to execute someone.

The Alabama Senate approved the bill Thursday on a 29-0 vote. It now moves to the House of Representatives.

The bill by Sen. Trip Pittman would allow execution by nitrogen hypoxia if lethal injection drugs were unavailable or ruled unconstitutional. The Montrose Republican said Alabama needs another execution method as lethal injection methods face legal challenges.

However, no state has used nitrogen gas in an execution.

Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said two states – Oklahoma and Mississippi – have voted to conditionally authorize the use of nitrogen gas as a back-up method of execution.

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