UN Pushes to Stop Alabama from Using New Execution Method

UN Pushes to Stop Alabama from Using New Execution Method

The United Nations is taking exception to a novel execution method planned for use by the state of Alabama.

The state is planning to use nitrogen gas to execute convicted murderer Kenneth Eugene Smith later this month, according to Fox News.

The execution will be the first of its kind in the United States.

Alabama’s planned method would substitute a nitrogen gas mask for a lethal injection, ultimately causing death by asphyxiation, according to CBS News.

The global organization claims that Alabama has failed to prove that the execution method will not result in “a painful and humiliating death” for Smith.

State officials previously attempted to execute Smith by lethal injection in November 2022 — only for the procedure to fail because staff could not locate a vein suitable to inject the drugs.

The entity criticized the United States’ continued use of the death penalty in a statement blasting the planned procedure.

A group of U.N. officials described the planned execution as a violation of two international treaties to which the U.S. is a party.


The organization is citing the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, as well as the Convention against Torture against the plan.

They’re pointing to the former as barring the state from conducting an execution they are likening to medical experimentation, calling it “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

The U.N. is urging officials to halt all planned executions pending further review.

Alabama is one of several U.S. states that have moved away from lethal injection as an execution method.

The state began considering the nitrogen method after three straight lethal injection executions were botched in 2022.

Court rulings, botched executions and difficulties in obtaining lethal chemicals have deterred states from the procedure in the last decade, according to AZ Central.

The United States’ use of the death penalty paled in comparison to nations such as Iran and China in 2020, according to Death Penalty Info.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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