A prominent Pennsylvania-based gas supplier says it won’t be helping the Alabama Department of Corrections execute death-row inmates by nitrogen hypoxia.

According to reports, an Airgas spokesman released a statement confirming that the large gas company with 24 offices in Alabama will not supply nitrogen for the state’s recently-approved method of execution.

Airgas is a subsidiary of French multinational industrial gas company Air Liquide and supplies industrial, medical and specialty gases to clients around the United States. 

The spokesperson said that the death penalty is not consistent with the company values of Airgas and that company leaders reinforced their position in December by making it clear to state officials that they would not play a role in executions. 

Alabama approved nitrogen hypoxia as a means to execute criminals in 2018. Death row inmates have one month to decide if they prefer nitrogen hypoxia to lethal injection.

Nitrogen hypoxia, also known as inert gas asphyxiation, involves forcing the criminal to breathe in oxygen-deficient air (in this case, nitrogen). Though it has never been used to conduct executions, several people have either died naturally of asphyxiation or used the method to commit suicide. 

Oklahoma first approved nitrogen hypoxia as an execution method in 2014. Alabama was the third state to approve the method, after Mississippi.

Airgas’ statement follows several botched lethal injections by Alabama corrections officials, including that of Kenneth Eugene Smith, a convict serving time for murdering for hire who was the subject state’s second failed execution in 2022. Earlier that year, the Alabama Department of Corrections called off Alan Eugene Miller’s execution after officials failed to establish an IV line.

Miller argued that he filed the paperwork to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia instead but that prison officials lost his paperwork.

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