WEATHER AUTHORITY : Heat Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Alabama lawmakers approve execution by nitrogen gas

Alabama lawmakers voted Tuesday to allow the use of nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates, a method that has so far not been used to carry out a death sentence.

Posted: Mar 21, 2018 9:51 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers voted Tuesday to allow the use of nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates, a method that has so far not been used to carry out a death sentence.

The Alabama House of Representatives approved the measure on a 75-23 vote. A spokesman for Gov. Kay Ivey said the governor will review the bill before making a decision whether to sign it into law.

The bill would allow executions by asphyxiating inmates with nitrogen gas if lethal injection drugs are unavailable or lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional. Supporters argued the state needs another method of carrying out death sentences as drug companies become hesitant to supply chemicals for executions and lethal injection faces continued court challenges.

"It would simply put him to sleep. It's humane. It's quick, and it's painless," Republican Rep. Jim Hill of Moody said during debate.

Opponents of the bill questioned how lawmakers could assert it would be painless since the method hasn't been tried.

"We had Yellow Mama. Now, we are going to bring back the gas chamber," Rep. Thomas Jackson, a Democrat from Thomasville, said referencing the nickname for the state's yellow-painted electric chair.

The Death Penalty Information Center said that no state has carried out an execution by nitrogen gas. Two states — Oklahoma and Mississippi — have voted to authorize execution by nitrogen gas as a backup method of execution, according to center.

Oklahoma announced last week that it will begin using nitrogen for executions, when the state resumes death sentences, because of difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said then that the execution procedure would likely involve the use of a mask placed over the inmate's head, but he said the details would have to be worked out.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds269748
DeSoto181818
Madison138236
Jones117349
Harrison104014
Rankin103515
Neshoba102274
Lauderdale94281
Forrest93943
Scott79215
Jackson72717
Washington64310
Copiah63115
Leake61320
Lee58621
Holmes57341
Oktibbeha56828
Wayne55416
Warren55320
Yazoo5436
Grenada5357
Lowndes52613
Leflore52256
Lincoln50935
Lamar5027
Pike47020
Sunflower4528
Lafayette4374
Monroe43635
Covington4195
Panola3996
Bolivar38018
Attala37524
Simpson3733
Newton35710
Adams34019
Pontotoc3266
Tate32313
Marion31312
Claiborne29310
Chickasaw29219
Winston28711
Pearl River27632
Noxubee2758
Marshall2693
Jasper2676
Clay25511
Union23811
Smith23412
Walthall2267
Coahoma2156
Clarke21425
Lawrence1992
Yalobusha1938
Kemper18014
Carroll17311
Tallahatchie1664
Humphreys15910
Montgomery1493
Calhoun1475
Tippah14411
Itawamba1418
Hancock13813
Webster12811
Tunica1193
Jefferson1173
Jefferson Davis1164
Prentiss1123
Greene10810
Amite1063
George1023
Wilkinson959
Tishomingo921
Quitman891
Alcorn852
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin492
Benton420
Sharkey420
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6030162
Mobile4418137
Montgomery4339109
Tuscaloosa254448
Madison19078
Marshall186611
Shelby150924
Lee149437
Morgan12205
Baldwin111410
Walker105127
Elmore98919
Dallas9639
Franklin92216
Etowah88214
DeKalb8416
Chambers65727
Russell6570
Autauga65313
Butler64328
Tallapoosa61669
Unassigned58626
Limestone5741
Houston5526
Cullman5395
Lauderdale5376
Lowndes48022
St. Clair4692
Colbert4656
Pike4595
Escambia4528
Calhoun4365
Coffee4074
Covington39911
Jackson3742
Bullock37010
Barbour3672
Dale3621
Talladega3497
Hale33722
Marengo33011
Wilcox2968
Clarke2946
Winston2893
Chilton2872
Sumter28512
Blount2731
Pickens2556
Monroe2492
Marion24514
Randolph2449
Conecuh2277
Perry2091
Bibb2081
Macon2069
Choctaw20212
Greene1928
Henry1433
Crenshaw1273
Washington1277
Lawrence1170
Cherokee1127
Geneva920
Lamar811
Fayette781
Clay742
Coosa621
Cleburne411
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Scattered Clouds
92° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 101°
Columbus
Few Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 103°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 98°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 94°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather