Professor Deborah Denno gave her thoughts on Alabama’s controversial proposal to become the first state to execute an inmate by making him breathe pure nitrogen.
Alabama’s report is the first time any state has made a nitrogen hypoxia protocol public, said Deborah Denno, a death penalty expert and professor at Fordham Law School.
“Yet, at no time does Alabama ever state, step-by-step, how such a nitrogen hypoxia execution shall proceed,” Denno told Newsweek. “The reader only deduces the procedure that executioners will use by way of heavily redacted depictions of what will occur.”
Unlike lethal injection and electrocution, which have been used in executions for decades, experts can “only speculate about how a state might conduct a nitrogen hypoxia execution,” Denno said. “This is a vague, sloppy, dangerous, and unjustifiably deficient protocol made all the more incomprehensible by heavy redaction in the most important places.”