ANI Photo | White House ‘deeply troubled’ over execution of man using nitrogen gas in Alabama

The White House on Friday (US local time) said it is “deeply troubled” over the execution of a man using nitrogen gas in Alabama, The Hill reported.
Alabama recently executed a man using nitrogen gas in a first-of-its-kind capital punishment.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters: “The reports of Kenneth Smith and his death last night obviously is very troubling. It is very troubling to us as an administration, it is very troubling to us here at the White House.”
“The president has long said and has had deep deep concerns with how the death penalty is implemented and whether it is consistent … with our values,” she added, as per The Hill.
Smith was put to death in Alabama on Thursday night after breathing nitrogen gas through a face mask, causing oxygen deprivation. It was the first time the method had been used to execute an American prisoner.
Smith had been convicted in a murder-for-hire killing that took place in 1988.
Critics argued the use of nitrogen gas violated the Constitution’s prevention of cruel and unusual punishment.
The Supreme Court rejected a last-minute bid on Thursday to block Smith’s killing, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissenting opinion that Alabama was using Smith as a “guinea pig” to test a new method of execution, as per The Hill.
Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2021 imposed a moratorium on the federal death penalty, which the White House said President Biden supports.
“The president has always had deep concerns with how the death penalty is implemented,” Jean-Pierre said.
Despite the moratorium, federal prosecutors said earlier this month they will seek the death penalty against the gunman who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store in 2022, according to The Hill.

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