Oklahoma Governor Signs Bill Allowing Nitrogen Gas Executions

Friday, April 17th 2015, 4:44 pm
By: News On 6

Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill Friday that would allow the state to us nitrogen gas as a form of execution.

House Bill 1879 allows the state to perform executions through nitrogen hypoxia if lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional or becomes unavailable. A news release explains, the United States Supreme Court is reviewing Oklahoma's lethal injection protocols.

Under current Oklahoma law, if lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional, the state can revert to the electric chair and firing squad.

The release says that nitrogen hypoxia causes a quick loss of consciousness and then death from lack of oxygen.

According to the news release, HB 1879 makes nitrogen hypoxia the second alternative, electric chair the third and firing squad the final alternative.

After signing the bill Fallin reiterated her support of the death penalty.

“Oklahoma executes murderers whose crimes are especially heinous,” Fallin said. “I support that policy, and I believe capital punishment must be performed effectively and without cruelty. The bill I signed today gives the state of Oklahoma another death penalty option that meets that standard.”

The bill, authored by Representative Mike Christian and Senator Anthony Sykes, passed with an 85-10 vote in the Oklahoma House and a 41-0 vote in the Oklahoma State Senate, according to the news release.