A 58-year-old American prisoner, Kenneth Eugene Smith, will be executed through the inhalation of pure nitrogen, used for the first time and in an experimental manner. The man is a survivor: last year he had already been subjected to an attempted suppression which then failed. The execution team had failed to locate the veins where to inject the poison and Smith had spent more than four hours tied to a stretcher.
Death within minutes
For this reason, this time it was decided to practice nitrogen hypoxia, thus causing death by suffocation or asphyxiation: through a mask, the gas is inhaled and the carbon dioxide is exhaled, the body tissues begin to feel the lack of oxygen and within four to five minutes the subject could die, according to a study by East Central University.
Human rights associations rise up
Human rights associations, including the NGO Equal Justice Initiative, have risen up, considering this method barbaric. Kenneth Eugene Smith was sentenced to death in 1988 for killing Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett, the wife of a pastor at the Wetside Church of Christ in Sheffield, with multiple stab wounds. The sentence, which initially saw him sentenced to life imprisonment, was then converted by a judge to the death penalty.