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October 29, 2023

Nitrogen Update – Coming in December 2023

The December 2023 Update to the Peaceful Pill eHandbook will focus on the issue of Nitrogen.

In recent months, the gas has come under intense scrutiny as the US State of Alabama pushes ahead with its plans to use the gas in the course of its capital punishment regime.

The Washington Post reports that prisoner Kenneth Eugene Smith is on course to be executed by Alabama in mid November, by way of Nitrogen hypoxia.

However, as a new form of capital punishment, there is myriad misinformation about the lethality of nitrogen hypoxia spreading throughout the media and online.

Some of the criticisms are well intentionned, and aimed at stopping yet further state-sanctioned killing.

Others are so misinformed from a scientific perspective that the claims they make are nothing short of fanciful.

For example, Newsweek is reporting that death by nitrogen hypoxia could go ‘horribly wrong’.

The criticism is based on the fact that the procedure remains a closely guarded secret.

This, in itself, has led to claims that it is a ‘vague, sloppy, dangerous, and unjustifiably deficient protocol’.

What is known about the protocol is that spiritual advisors will need to ‘review and sign’ the ‘spiritual advisor nitrogen hypoxia acknowledgment form’ in order to be allowed in the execution chamber.

Counterpunch reports that this form explains the risks of nitrogen hypoxia.

One paragraph states:

‘In the highly unlikely event that the hose supplying breathing gas to the mask were to detach, an area of free-flowing nitrogen gas could result, creating a small area of risk (approximately two (2) feet) from the outflow. Additionally, overpressure could result in a small area of nitrogen gas that displaces the oxygen in the area around the condemned inmate’s face and/or head’.

Remembering that nitrogen constitutes around 79% of the air that we breathe, questions must be asked.

November’s PPeH Update (and accompanying podcast) will explain away the confusion and misinformation and reinforce the value of the use of nitrogen for a peaceful, elective and dignified passing.

Exit condemns all forms of capital punishment regardless of the methods employed.