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Execution using Nitrogen Gas

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: BBC

 Context: A federal appeals court in Alabama has ruled that the state can carry out its first execution using nitrogen gas.


The process:

Execution by nitrogen gas involves the administration of pure nitrogen to the condemned person. The method typically includes placing a respirator-type face mask over the nose and mouth to replace breathable air with nitrogen, causing death from lack of oxygen.  The state predicts that the gas will cause the inmate to lose consciousness within seconds and death within minutes.

Critics argue that the untested method raises unknowns and potential risks, violating constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment.


About Nitrogen gas:

It is a colourless, odourless gas that makes up a significant portion of Earth’s atmosphere. It is inert and non-flammable, commonly used in various industrial applications, including food packaging and electronics manufacturing.