Oklahoma May Turn To Nitrogen Gas For Executions
(Reuters) - Oklahoma plans to start using nitrogen gas for executions, officials said on Wednesday, in what would be the first such method of capital punishment in the United States.
Nitrogen is an odorless and tasteless gas that makes up about 78 percent of the air humans breathe but causes death when inhaled without any oxygen.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement that the state would use nitrogen hypoxia – asphyxiation by breathing in the inert gas – as its primary means of execution once a protocol had been finalized for the process.
“Using an inert gas will be effective, simple to administer, easy to obtain and requires no complex medical procedures,” Hunter said in the statement.