UN Urges Alabama to Halt Untested Nitrogen Execution

Concerns surround the possibility that this form of execution could be cruel and painful.

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office expressed concern over the state of Alabama’s plan to execute a death row inmate by nitrogen hypoxia. The UN released a statement this week after consulting capital punishment experts. 

The state has scheduled January 25 as the execution date for a convicted hitman who survived execution by lethal injection in November 2022. Officials plan to use nitrogen gas through a face mask to deprive him of oxygen.

UN officials said that this method of execution has never been tested or used before, stating, “We are concerned that nitrogen hypoxia would result in a painful and humiliating death.” They admitted there was no way to be sure it would be painful since it has never been tested. 

If nitrogen execution were proven after the fact to be unusually cruel and painful, the UN warned Alabama that this would cause the United States to be in violation of the International Convention against Torture. The UN Human Rights Office requested that federal and state authorities halt the execution to formally review the intended procedure. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Alabama officials to be prudent in their considerations to utilize nitrogen gas for the executive.
  • For UN leaders in the Office of Human Rights to be discerning in their requests of member nations.
  • For U.S. prison administrators and personnel to be humane in their treatment of inmates.

Sources: Reuters, UN Office of the Human Rights High Commissioner

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