The Patriot Press

Alabama Approves Nitrogen Gas Death Penalty

By Jimmy He, Staff Writer

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The state of Alabama legalized the nitrogen gas method of death penalty execution on March 22nd in a 75-23 vote in the Alabama House of Representatives.Due to the difficulties in acquiring lethal injection drugs, Alabama now uses nitrogen gas as its primary method of execution. This method of nitrogen asphyxiation involves removing oxygen from the air around a criminal and replacing it with nitrogen.

The legalization of nitrogen gas based execution has already been approved in two other states: Oklahoma and Mississippi. However, Alabama will become the first state to actually use this type of gas to carry out a death penalty. 

A consensus has not yet been reached on exactly how the method of execution will be carried out, though some of the suggested methods range from placing the criminal in a sealed chamber, to strapping him or her into a chair and using a mask.

Alabama representatives support that this type of method is a more humane form of execution, while opponents argue that the method has never been tested before, so therefore one is unable to determine it’s effects. It has also been suggested that this method of nitrogen asphyxiation can be used in helping assisted suicides became more peaceful.

Sophomore Cheyenne Ajebe commented that “this nitrogen based method is a better and more peaceful way to perform executions.” On the other hand, Julianna D’Amico argued that death penalties are “very inhumane.” and that
“death penalties aren’t a good way to punish criminals.” Here, we have two perspectives that portray opposing sides of an ongoing debate in states such as Alabama, Oklahoma, and Mississippi.

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Alabama Approves Nitrogen Gas Death Penalty