In case you haven’t been following the issue, anti-death penalty activists have been pressuring pharmaceutical companies to stop selling the products use to preform lethal injections executions to states that still have the death penalty on the books.
Essentially, states cannot buy items like sodium pentathol from anywhere, foreign or domestic. This is why the last few executions by lethal injection have been botched and made the news a few weeks back. States were mixing up their own lethal cocktails, some of which really make you wonder who taught chemistry to the person doing the mixing.
Of course, the anti-death penalty activists refuse to accept any of the blame for these botched executions, even though the blame stems directly from their actions.
But the Sooner State has a better idea, in case the case in front of the SCOTUS goes against them:
Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin signed into law a bill that approves the use of nitrogen gas for executions in the state. The method, which would effectively asphyxiate death row inmates by forcing them to breathe pure nitrogen through a gas mask, is meant to be the primary alternative to lethal injection, The Washington Post reports.
Fallin and other supporters of the procedure say it’s pain-free and effective, noting that the nitrogen would render inmates unconscious within ten seconds and kill them in minutes. It’s also cheap: state representatives say the method only requires a nitrogen tank and a gas mask, but financial analysts say its impossible to give precise figures, the Post reports.
If Oklahoma does get to use nitrogen, I am sure that the activists will go after pressurised gas supplies in short order. If they succeed there, they will then go after rope manufacturers.
The activists already belong to groups that go after manufacturers of ammunition and electricity, so probably not much change there.