Alabama House Committee votes to allow nitrogen executions

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama moved closer to allowing death row inmates to be executed with nitrogen gas, a method only available in two other states and that has so far never been used.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure Wednesday without debate.

Sen. Trip Pittman says his bill offers a painless way to put a person to death that is more humane than lethal injection or electric chair. The Montrose Republican said Alabama needs another execution method as lethal injection methods face legal challenges.

Robert Dunham of the Death Penalty Information Center says Mississippi and Oklahoma allow nitrogen executions but that the gas hasn’t yet been used.

The bill now moves to the full House.

A previous version of Pittman’s legislation called for firing squad executions.

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