Nitrogen gas used as execution method
In a Friday court filing, attorneys for Kenneth Eugene Smith asked the Alabama Supreme Court to reject the state attorney general’s request to set an execution date for Smith using the proposed new execution method.
Nitrogen gas is authorized as an execution method in three states but it has never been used to put an inmate to death.
Smith's attorneys argued the state has disclosed little information about how nitrogen executions would work, releasing only a redacted copy of the proposed protocol.
The lawyers said Smith “already has been put through one failed execution attempt” in November when the state tried to put him to death by lethal injection.
Smith was convicted in the 1988 murder-for-hire slaying of Elizabeth Sennett in Alabama’s Colbert County.
Prosecutors said Smith was one of two men who were each paid $1,000 to kill Sennett on behalf of her husband who was deeply in debt and wanted to collect on insurance.