Uncategorized US state set to allow nitrogen gas executions

US state set to allow nitrogen gas executions

Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin
Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin

(AA) – Inmates on death row in the U.S. could be put to death using nitrogen gas if a bill passed in Oklahoma is ratified by the state’s governor.

Oklahoma is set to become the first U.S. state to permit the use of nitrogen gas to kill prisoners when drugs needed for lethal injection are not available under House Bill 1879, which passed unanimously at the state legislature Thursday.

Authored by Republican legislators Anthony Sykes and Mike Christian, the bill needs to be ratified by Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin before it can become law.

Nitrogen hypoxia will replace electrocution as the primary backup method of capital punishment in the state under the new measure, with electrocution and firing squad being the second and third methods, respectively.

Although lethal injection is the primary method of execution across the U.S., states have been in short supply in recent years after European pharmaceutical companies refused to sell the drugs in objection to the use in the U.S. of capital punishment.

The governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, last month signed into law a bill reinstating the use of firing squads as the primary backup method for executions, more than a decade after the state abandoned the practice.

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