OKLAHOMA CITY (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Oklahoma officials say they plan to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates once the state resumes using the death penalty, marking the first time a U.S. state would use the gas to carry out capital punishment.
State Attorney General Mike Hunter and Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh made the announcement Wednesday.
This new method, known as nitrogen asphyxiation, seals the prisoner in an airtight chamber pumped full of nitrogen gas, causing death by a lack of oxygen.
Oklahoma and other states haven’t been able to get the drugs required for lethal injections amid opposition from drugmakers to having their products used in executions.
Oklahoma has had one of the busiest death chambers in the U.S., but hasn’t carried out an execution since 2015 after a series of mishaps, including a botched lethal injection in 2014 that left an inmate writhing on the gurney.
Hunter said using nitrogen is the best way for Oklahoma to resume executions.
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