The state of Alabama is attempting a new strategy after its previous attempt to execute Kenneth Smith was unsuccessful.
Kenneth Smith is slated to be the first person in the U.S. – and potentially the world – put to die by nitrogen hypoxia on Thursday after having a drawn-out legal dispute over the state of Alabama’s methods of execution.
Following a string of failed executions, experts suggest that the most recent attempt to apply the death penalty compassionately and successfully is to use nitrogen to kill a prisoner.
Some techniques are now deemed too graphic; others turned into spectacles for the public; current attempts have frequently failed or caused unnecessary misery.
Two years after a disastrous attempt at his execution, Kenneth Eugene Smith will be put to death once more, but this time it will be via an experimental procedure that substitutes pure nitrogen gas for ordinary air—which contains oxygen—into a person’s lungs.
Despite opposition from human rights organizations, certain medical professionals, and the jury that decided against the death penalty in the case, Kenneth Smith’s execution is proceeding in the United States.
The world was watching that coming moral disaster, the prisoner and his spiritual advisor, the Rev. Jeff Hood, declared in a joint statement on Thursday at midday. They continued by saying that they were praying that no one would notice and that they would be unable to accept each other being suffocated.
On Wednesday night, a different federal appeals court decision denied to stop the execution. Kenneth Smith’s team appealed to the Supreme Court once more on Thursday morning, this time asking for a stay of execution.
When there is no oxygen in the air, pure nitrogen degrades cells and causes death. Alabama stated in a court document that they anticipated him to pass away in a matter of minutes after losing consciousness in a matter of seconds.
However, some medical experts have opposed its usage, stating that it could result in several disastrous events, such as severe convulsions or surviving in a vegetative condition.
Why Kenneth Smith Is Facing The Death Penalty?
Kenneth Smith has spent more than thirty years on death row for his involvement in the 1988 Colbert County woman Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett’s murder-for-hire scheme.
Sennett was the wife of a pastor who suffered stabbing and beatings. Following Elizabeth Sennett’s murder, Smith admitted his involvement in the crime, and according to court documents, he received payment of roughly $1,000 for the murder.
Shortly after the murder, Sennett’s husband committed himself. He had confessed to family members that he had paid Smith and an accomplice to kill his wife. In 2010, the accomplice was found guilty and put to death.
According to court records, Sennett’s husband was purportedly in serious debt and sought to collect on her life insurance.
She suffered ten knife wounds to her neck and chest in addition to being struck with a fireplace tool.
Her demise was contrived to resemble a break-in and theft.
Kenneth Smith received a death sentence for capital murder in 1989, but the decision was reversed on appeal in 1992.
Smith asserts that despite being there when the murder occurred, he was not involved in the assault. His time on death row began in 1996.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for a halt to Smith’s gassing, comparing it to torture or other harsh, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
Elizabeth allowed Smith and his accomplice inside her home, whereupon they viciously assaulted her and stabbed the helpless woman multiple times in her chest and once on each side of her neck, according to a court filing from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.