The Alabama Supreme Court ruled last week that the state attorney general can proceed with his plan to execute Kenneth Eugene Smith with nitrogen gas, CBS News reports. It was a 6-2 decision by the all-Republican court.
No other state has ever attempted to kill a person using nitrogen gas, although Oklahoma and Mississippi have also included the method in their execution protocols.
Smith, who is one of two men convicted in the 1988 murder-for-hire slaying of Elizabeth Sennett, has already been subjected to one botched execution. Corrections officials ended their attempt to kill Smith in November of last year, after trying and failing for over an hour to find a usable vein for its lethal drugs. His was the third execution in 2022 that was botched and the fourth since 2018. All were related to the execution team’s inability to insert IV lines.
Gov. Kay Ivey has not signed an execution date for Smith yet. The state’s last execution was in July, when it killed James Barber.