(NBC NEWS) Oklahoma officials haven announced that they plan to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates, marking the first time a U.S. state would use the gas to carry out capital punishment.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says gas was the next step due to a bill passed in 2015.
“If lethal injection is held unconstitutional, or is unavailable, an execution shall be carried out by nitrogen hypoxia. We are exercising that option,” said Hunter.
“After a couple of breaths, the individual loses consciousness,” said Joe Allbaugh with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Allbaugh says the drugs used for lethal injection had become increasingly hard to get.
Executions were placed on hold after a pair of botched executions took place several years ago.
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