Alabama Senate passes new execution method

Alabama Senate passes new execution method

(WAFF) - Alabama might have a new method to execute death row inmates.

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday allowing nitrogen gas as an option. If it passes through the House, Alabama would become the third state to allow inmates to be executed by nitrogen gas.

But this method has never been used before.

Alabama's Senate voted Tuesday, approving it 25-8.

Mississippi and Oklahoma are the other states that have nitrogen hypoxia as a possibility.

Rep. Lynn Greer, who was a big proponent to the electric chair, said we need to either strengthen the process and move forward or repeal the death penalty law, but doesn't believe people want that either. He thinks nitrogen gas might be the last effort.

"You know we need another method other than what we have today. Utah has gone back to the firing squad, and that's something that's been discussed in Montgomery. We just need a backup," Greer said.

Katie Owens-Murphy, vice president of Project Say Something, said we need to look back at the history of executions and the process of it itself. She said the methods are masking the larger conversations that we need to have.

"It's another example of inmates being used for experimental guinea pigs or lab rats, so it's a clear violation of the Eighth Amendment. We are quite literally experimenting on people who were not sentenced to death and torture but were sentenced to death," Owens-Murphy said.

The bill now heads to the House to take up a vote.

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