Lawmakers want execution by nitrogen

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A new study released suggests execution by nitrogen is a good alternative to capital punishment using the Midazolam cocktail.

A new bill is already moving through the capitol; it has passed the house and is waiting on a senate version.

Legislators in support are confident it will become law, as it received an overwhelming bi-partisan support.

"We've had some issues with the lethal injection," State Rep. Mike Christian says.

He's referring to executions like the 2014 botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

"We realized there's a problem, and we found a solution, and it's by Nitrogen Hypoxia," Rep. Christian said.

A study done by researchers from East Central University in Ada found that using nitrogen as a form of capital punishment would encounter the following:

1) humane method to carry out a death sentence
2) would not require licensed medical professionals
3) simple to administer
4) readily available for purchase
5) quick and painless death of the offender

"All the data we've looked at in the study proves that this a humane way, and if we're going to be in the business of handing out capital punishment, this is the way to go," Rep. Christian said. "I think as a government, we can do better."

He says nitrogen is a gas we already breathe in our atmosphere, only in lower concentrations.

"If you go to 100 percent nitrogen, and take away that 21 percent oxygen, it would be approximately 7 to 10 seconds before unconsciousness, and then two minutes, and then the heart would stop beating," Rep. Christian explained.

The bill is gaining momentum. It passed the house with a 85-12 vote, but the U.S. Supreme Court will have the ultimate word.

"If they find this method unconstitutional, we're going to go to the electric chair, and I don't think the people of Oklahoma would want to go to that method," Rep. Christian said.

The Supreme Court has already ordered the state of Oklahoma to find an alternate form of lethal Midazolam cocktail.

The bill now heads to the Senate for approval.

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