Monday, May 31, 2021

Why isn't nitrogen used as a method of execution?

There has been plenty wrong regarding execution and slaughter house protocols.  

Using nitrogen for execution could be done with a simple breathing mask.  Switching  over to nitrogen can go unnoticed and the individual will simply pass out and then soon pass on as blood oxygen collapses.

The mechanics will be more challenging for animals, but the principle remains the same and starts with the animal passing out and likely then goes directly to blood letting.  what is key is that distress can be eliminated.

Central is that nitrogen is better than CO2 and most alternative chemicals we should not be using.  Planned death is part of our global agriculture and desirable.  What is never desirable is using violence on a conscious entity.  For most applications, a simple muzzle can be used.  We can even train our animals to accept them easily enough.

What I am tring to say is that this is a viable path forward.

Why isn't nitrogen used as a method of execution?

There are probably many contrived reasons for using non-nitrogen methods for execution, just plain ignorance being one! But none undermines the justification for using nitrogen to stun painlessly and then cause brain death. Another possible reason is the conviction by a society that still adopts the death sentence, that the death of an extreme criminal should accompany pain!

Nitrogen gassing is pain-free and fast and technically fairly straight forward. Stunning with CO2 by contrast is painful. A mild dose of pain from CO2 is experienced when drinking a large amount of carbonated drink followed by burping. The head ache accompanying the transfer of CO2 to the brain cells (also achieved by strongly inhaling it) can, in extreme cases, be painful until it is cleared with atmospheric oxygen.

When pigs are stunned with a mixture of CO2 and air, they become stressed which has a negative effect on meat quality - produces toughness in meat - due to lactic acid build up in the muscle cells from the stress. The terrified screaming of the pigs is also communicated to other pigs that have not entered the toxic gas area. For that reason nitrogen should be considered to achieve stunning for its effect in depriving the brain of essential oxygen and, ultimately, despatching the animals without pain.

Edit: Several months after providing above answer Oklahoma State agreed to using nitrogen for executions. Common sense and science prevailed!

Oklahoma to use nitrogen gas for executions
14 March 2018


Image captionExecutions using lethal injection have been surrounded by controversy

Oklahoma plans to use nitrogen gas as its preferred method of execution when it resumes using the death penalty, the first US state to do so.

The announcement was made by State Attorney General Mike Hunter and Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh.

Capital punishment has been on hold in Oklahoma for three years amid problems with the lethal injection method.

Mr Hunter told a news conference on Wednesday that nitrogen was easy to obtain and led to a painless death.

Authorities will work together over the coming months to develop new protocols, the two men added. It is not clear exactly how soon executions will resume.

Oklahoma passed a bill in 2015 to allow nitrogen gas poisoning, or nitrogen-induced hypoxia, as a method of execution following difficulties in obtaining the drugs necessary for lethal injection. Some drug companies have forbidden the use of their products in executions.

An indefinite stay on capital punishment in the state was announced in October 2015 after prison officials nearly gave the wrong lethal injection drug to death row inmate Richard Glossip.

Oklahoma had already overhauled how it carried out the death penalty after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in 2014. Lockett struggled and took more than 40 minutes to die .

Seventeen inmates on death row in Oklahoma are in line for execution after losing appeals, the local NewsOK website reported.

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