Alabama lawmakers approve execution by nitrogen gas

Alabama lawmakers approve execution by nitrogen gas
(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama lawmakers have voted to allow the use of nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates.

The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 75-23 for the bill. It now moves to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature.

The bill would allow execution by nitrogen hypoxia if lethal injection drugs are unavailable or ruled unconstitutional.

The Death Penalty Information Center says two states - Oklahoma and Mississippi - have voted to authorize execution by nitrogen gas, but no state has used the method.

Oklahoma announced last week it will begin using nitrogen because of difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs.

Republican Rep. Jim Hill of Moody argued the method will be painless.

Rep. Thomas Jackson, a Democrat from Thomasville, said the state is trying to implement the "gas chamber."

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