Oklahoma is set to be the first state to use nitrogen gas has a means of execution, according to an announcement from Attorney General Mike Hunter and Oklahoma Corrections Department Director Joe Allbaugh. This comes after a three-year period in which the state put use of the death penalty on hold. A grand jury in 2016 recommended the state to use the gas after “repeated problems with the lethal injection method,” including problems obtaining the proper drugs for the procedure and the state previously using the wrong drug for lethal injection. The jurors concluded that the gas would be “easy and inexpensive,” alternative for “quick and seemingly painless” executions. 17 inmates are now up for execution in Oklahoma due to the decision. Mississippi approved nitrogen gas to be used as a backup method of execution last year and Alabama passed a bill giving inmates a choice between the using drugs or gas in February.
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