Three Nitrogen Companies Leave Death Chambers Following First Gas Execution

Three major suppliers of medical-grade nitrogen in the United States have decided to prohibit the use of their products for capital punishment. The companies, namely Airgas, Air Products, and Matheson Gas, confirmed their actions to The Guardian, stating that they have taken steps to dissociate themselves from the death penalty. Airgas, which has 24 branches in Alabama, explicitly stated that it will not supply nitrogen or other inert gases for human execution by inducing hypoxia. Matheson Gas, on the other hand, explained that producing nitrogen for executions goes against their company values.

This decision comes after the controversial execution of death row inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith, who was put to death using nitrogen gas. The execution, which lasted 22 minutes, drew criticism as witnesses reported that Smith appeared to shake and writhe on the gurney for at least two minutes. The method of using nitrogen hypoxia for executions remains untested and has raised concerns about its

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