8 Alabama inmates ask for execution by nitrogen gas – Breathing nitrogen causes oxygen depletion in the blood stream

(Dan Henson / Shutterstock.com)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) 07/11 — A lawsuit challenging Alabama’s lethal injection process took an unexpected turn Tuesday after eight inmate plaintiffs asked to be put to death by the state’s new execution method: inhaling nitrogen gas.

The Alabama attorney general’s office and lawyers for inmates submitted a joint motion Tuesday to dismiss the litigation. Lawyers said the inmates’ claims challenging the state’s lethal injection process as inhumane are now moot, “because their executions will be carried out at the appropriate time by nitrogen hypoxia.”

Breathing the inert gas causes oxygen depletion in the blood stream.

Alabama had previously carried out executions by lethal injection and electrocution. Alabama in March added nitrogen to the list, becoming the third state to authorize executions by nitrogen. No state has yet used the method.

According to the motion, the eight inmate plaintiffs in the lawsuit had a June 30 deadline to request execution by nitrogen and all did so.

“The plaintiffs in this case, and anyone else who elected the new method, cannot now be executed by lethal injection,” said John Palombi, an attorney with the Federal Defenders Program, who is representing inmates in the lawsuit.

It’s not clear how many inmates had the choice or how many altogether have requested nitrogen.

A spokesman for Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said his office did not have additional comment. A spokesman for the Department of Corrections could not immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday.

Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said it could be some time before the inmates see a death chamber with nitrogen.

“At least for the prisoners who elected nitrogen gas over lethal injection, there will be no executions until Alabama has an approved nitrogen-gas protocol in place. It will take time for that to happen and, because the gas protocol will also be untried, it will face its own set of legal challenges,” Dunham wrote in an email.

Dunham said the eight inmates also may “prefer the unknown risks of nitrogen hypoxia to the known risks” of lethal injection drugs while Alabama avoids having to litigate the lethal-injection issue by voluntarily dismissing the case.

Palombi said the eight inmates did not waive their rights to eventually challenge the humaneness of execution by nitrogen and urged the state to make the protocol public when it is developed.

“While the best way to reduce the risks of botched executions would be to abolish the death penalty, if the death penalty does exist, it must be carried out in a constitutional manner with the respect and dignity that is required of such a solemn event,” Palombi said.

https://www.apnews.com/9caa875f58924a46ad8c12171f36df41/8-Alabama-inmates-ask-for-execution-by-nitrogen-gas

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

Posted in: Crime & Criminals, Death Penalty, Sentencing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.