Oklahoma wants to go where no state has gone before: Executing death row inmates with nitrogen gas. Officials say nitrogen will bring quick, painless deaths, but the research is slim — and it has never been used in U.S. executions.
The case for nitrogen hypoxia sounds simple. Nitrogen is already in the air we breathe, but, as long as humans get the right mix, nitrogen is safe. The state wants to make death row inmates breathe pure nitrogen.