Those who witnessed Alabama’s execution of Kenneth Smith describe the final moments.
Convicted murderer Kenneth Eugene Smith took his last breath at 8:25 p.m. Thursday night, according to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.
Oklahoma and Mississippi are the only other states using nitrogen hypoxia for executions.
Convicted murderer Kenneth Eugene Smith took his last breath at 8:25 p.m. Thursday, according to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.
We know that Smith’s wife, their two kids and a family friend were all inside Holman Prison witnessing the execution. His spiritual advisor, Reverend Jeff Hood, was actually inside the chamber with Smith.
“We didn’t see somebody go unconscious in 30 seconds. What we saw was someone going minutes struggling for their life,” Rev. Hood said. He called the execution “disgusting.” “Ripping his head forward over and over and over again,” he added as he described what he witnessed during the execution.
“The execution was lawfully carried out by nitrogen hypoxia, the method previously requested by Mr. Smith as an alternative to lethal injection,” Gov. Ivey said in a statement released minutes after the execution. “At long last, Mr. Smith got what he asked for, and this case can finally be put to rest.”
We’re told from start to finish the execution took approximately 22 minutes. We know that Smith ate his final meal tonight which consisted of steak, hashbrowns and eggs. He also had several visitors stop by throughout the day.
This is the first time a U.S. state has used nitrogen hypoxia on a death row inmate. The execution getting national attention from the media and those who are for and against this new method. Some who oppose the method were worried about its effects, not wanting the state to go through with this process since it’s deemed experimental.
Kenneth Smith was one of three men convicted of murdering a North Alabama woman in 1988 during a murder-for-hire plot.
“A great evil was unleashed on the state of Alabama tonight,” Rev. Hood added as he described the execution method that was administered to Kenneth Smith.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced the culmination of convicted murderer Kenneth Smith’s life at 8:25 p.m.
Thursday, marking the state’s first use of nitrogen gas for execution.
Contrary to expectations, the execution took approximately 22 minutes, showcasing the unprecedented use of nitrogen hypoxia, a method chosen by Smith as an alternative to lethal injection. Governor Ivey asserted that the execution adhered to Kenneth Smith’s preference and concluded the long-standing case. Smith’s last meal included steak, hash browns, and eggs, with visitors attending throughout the day.
The use of nitrogen hypoxia garnered national attention, sparking debates on its experimental nature. Despite concerns and opposition, the execution proceeded, making Alabama the first U.S. state to implement this method. Smith, convicted in 1988 for his role in a murder-for-hire plot that claimed a North Alabama woman’s life, leaves behind controversy surrounding the ethics and humaneness of this newly employed execution technique. Rev. Hood encapsulated the sentiments, describing the execution of Kenneth Smith as a “great evil” unleashed upon the state of Alabama.