The Supreme Court rejects the appeal and the first nitrogen

The Supreme Court rejects the appeal and the first nitrogen gas execution in the US is expected this Thursday

Kenneth Eugene Smith

Kenneth Eugene Smith

Photo: Disclosure/Alabama Department of Correction

The United States Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block Alabama from moving forward in 2022 with the nation's first nitrogen gas death penalty execution of Kenneth Smith, a convicted murderer who survived a botched lethal injection a fact that A review of the state's death penalty procedures contributed to the trigger.

The justices rejected Smith's request to stay the execution scheduled for this Thursday, the 25th, and refused to hear his legal challenge that a second execution attempt in Alabama after the first caused him severe trauma violated the protections of the U.S. Constitution would violate the Eighth Amendment against cruelty and unusual punishment. No judge publicly disagreed with the decision.

The Alabama gassing method called nitrogen hypoxia was designed to deprive Smith of oxygen by placing a mask connected to a nitrogen cylinder over his face.

Smith, 58, questioned Alabama's intention to carry out a second execution attempt in May 2023, claiming in state court that it would violate the Eighth Amendment after the first attempt caused him physical and psychological pain, according to his lawyers had, including after death. traumatic stress disorder.

During this first execution attempt, state authorities repeatedly tried to place the necessary intravenous catheters or central lines in the area of ​​his collarbone before stopping the execution after 11 p.m.

Smith's lawyers described the experience as torture and said the act subjected the convict to “the severe mental anguish of a mock execution.”

Smith was convicted of murdering Elizabeth Sennett in 1998 after he and his accomplice were hired by the victim's husband, Charles Sennett, a Christian minister. According to prosecutors, Sennett had taken out extensive life insurance for his wife. She was stabbed multiple times and attacked with a blunt object.

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