Hitman Executed With New Method

Criminal

(StraightShooterNews.com) – Introducing a new method to punish death row criminals, a 58-year-old inmate in Alabama became the first person in the United States to be executed with a non-injectable technique.

Kenneth Eugene Smith’s execution involved inhaling nitrogen gas through a mask, which led to his suffocation due to a lack of oxygen. This occurred at the Holman Prison in Atmore following the Supreme Court’s decision not to stop the procedure.

In his final moments, Smith expressed love and gratitude to his family members present, telling them, “Thank you for supporting me. Love, love all of you,” and making an “I love you” sign with his hands.

The execution process lasted approximately 22 minutes. For a part of this time, Smith seemed conscious and struggled against his restraints. He eventually stopped breathing after several minutes of heavy breathing. His execution came after a failed lethal injection attempt in November 2022, where the procedure was canceled due to the doctors’ difficulties injecting him.

Smith had been in prison for over 30 years. He was convicted for the murder-for-hire of Elizabeth Sennett, a preacher’s wife, in 1988. Smith was one of two men paid to murder Sennett.

The murder was arranged by her husband, who later committed suicide. Reflecting on the execution, the victim’s son, Charles Sennett Jr., said, “Smith has to pay for what he’s done.”

Before his execution, Smith shared with the Guardian his fears and nightmares about the controversial execution method. “I’m still suffering from the first execution and now we’re doing this again. They won’t let me even have post-traumatic stress disorder,” he said.

His last meal consisted of a T-bone steak, hash browns, toast, eggs, and A1 steak sauce. Reverend Jeff Hood, Smith’s spiritual adviser, described Smith as terrified and at peace, noting that he felt he was finally getting out of his long imprisonment.

This execution marks the first time that nitrogen gas has been used for this purpose since lethal injection was introduced in 1982. However, the use of lethal injection drugs has become more challenging. This has prompted states like Alabama to seek alternative methods like nitrogen gas.

In 2023, 24 inmates were executed in the U.S., all by lethal injection, making Smith’s execution by nitrogen gas a first in the nation.