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UN rights chief regrets US’s first ever execution by nitrogen suffocation — Global Issues


“I deeply regret the execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith in Alabama despite serious concerns that this novel and untested method of suffocation may amount to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” mentioned Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR.

Convicted of homicide in 1988, Mr. Smith, 58, had been sentenced to demise within the state of Alabama. An try to hold out the execution in 2022, failed.

Last week, the Human Rights Council had known as for Alabama to halt Mr. Smith’s execution and to chorus from taking steps in the direction of some other executions utilizing nitrogen asphyxiation.

On Thursday night, nitrogen hypoxia fuel was administered to Mr. Smith.

It took 22 minutes earlier than he was formally declared lifeless, media stories mentioned.

According to media and different witnesses within the execution chamber, the prisoner shook violently, writhing and convulsing on the gurney.

Prior to the execution, authorities in Alabama reportedly described the usage of pure nitrogen fuel as “perhaps the most humane method of execution ever devised”.

The death penalty is inconsistent with the fundamental right to life,” mentioned OHCHR Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani on Friday morning in a submit on X, previously Twitter.

We urge all States to put in place a moratorium on its use as a step towards universal abolition.”

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