USA: Alabama's 'cruel' execution of Kenneth Smith condemned

‘Accounts of Kenneth Smith’s last moments simply show that there is no humane way to take someone’s life’ - Justin Mazzola

In response to the execution by nitrogen gas suffocation of Kenneth Smith in the US state of Alabama, Justin Mazzola, an Amnesty International USA researcher, said: 

“The death penalty is a violation of human rights, and we condemn the cruel execution of Kenneth Smith in Alabama. 

“It’s shameful that Governor Ivey decided to proceed and take Kenneth Smith’s life, including because of the many concerns in his case as well as the alarm raised by UN experts on the new, untested execution method.

“This new and untested method follows several botched attempts at executions by lethal injection in Alabama, including a previously botched attempt to execute Kenneth Smith a mere 14 months ago. 

“The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and accounts of Kenneth Smith’s last moments simply show that there is no humane way to take someone’s life. 

“It is high time for those in power to stop trying to fix the failed experiment that is the death penalty. 

“Instead, they should devote all resources and focus on alternatives that would more effectively address crime at its roots and protect human rights. We call on the Alabama authorities to immediately establish a moratorium on all executions as a first critical step towards abolition.”

View latest press releases