End The Death Penalty In the news

US man ‘human guinea pig’ as Alabama pushes for execution by nitrogen hypoxia

The Guardian reports that Alabama wants to be the first state to kill a prisoner using nitrogen hypoxia, and has set its sights on Kenneth Smith, despite the fact that he has already survived one execution attempt.

In 2022, Alabama called off Smith’s execution after strapping him to a gurney yet failing to insert intravenous lines.

Reprieve’s joint executive director Maya Foa said: “Alabama has tortured Kenneth Smith once already, strapping him down and stabbing him with needles for more than an hour in a failed attempt to kill him. It is astonishingly reckless and cruel to try again using an untested execution method that has every chance of causing terrible suffering.”

The published protocol is “alarmingly vague,” Foa added. “Officials evidently don’t know what they are doing and are hoping for the best. The state is treating a human being like a guinea pig in a laboratory and calling it justice.”