Alabama Senate votes to allow execution by nitrogen gas

Alabama State House

The bill passed 29-0.

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 12:53 PM

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.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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