Alabama may become the first state to execute a prisoner by making him breathe pure nitrogen, a death penalty method that is authorized by three states but has never been used.
The office of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall asked the state Supreme Court in a court filing on Friday to set an execution date for 58-year-old death row inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith. The filing revealed Alabama intends to put him to death by nitrogen hypoxia.
Smith was one of two men convicted in the 1988 murder-for-hire killing of a preacher’s wife.
"It is a travesty that Kenneth Smith has been able to avoid his death sentence for nearly 35 years after being convicted of the heinous murder-for-hire slaying of an innocent woman, Elizabeth Sennett," Marshall said in a statement.