There have been at least 44 botched executions in America dating from 1982-2014. These are only a sample of the best known failed executions. Now Oklahoma is considering changing from the well known three-drug protocol to death by nitrogen as the former is under questioning for being cruel and unusual punishment. The AP reports that there are two separate bills scheduled to be heard in state legislative committees this week that introduce “nitrogen hypoxia” as a backup execution method if the current one is struck down by the Supreme Court. Oklahoma would be the first state to use nitrogen for capital punishment.
Nitrogen gas has never been used in an execution before, ans while it would certainly be less dangerous for witnesses and the executioners, advocates say that it would also be much less painful for the inmate. Death by nitrogen is supposedly so painless that Australia even has advocates for euthanasia by nitrogen asphyxiation.