Gov. Kay Ivey has set the execution date for Kenneth Eugene Smith, who could be Alabama's first death row inmate to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia.

Smith was one of two men convicted in the 1988 murder-for-hire of Elizabeth Sennett.

Ivey announced Wednesday that his execution will take place on Jan. 25, 2024.

"The execution will be carried out by nitrogen hypoxia, the method previously requested by the inmate as an alternative to lethal injection," Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola stated.

Last year, the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) called off Smith's execution after they were unable to establish an intravenous line to administer lethal injection.

His attorneys have since argued that Smith will be a "guinea pig" if he is the first to receive nitrogen gas.

Smith's victim, Sennett, died after being stabbed eight times in the chest and once on each side of the neck. Court records show Smith and another man were paid $1,000 by Sennett's husband, Rev. Charles Sennett, to kill her. The reverend took his own life a week later, and the other suspect, John Forrest Parker, was executed in 2010.

Nitrogen hypoxia has been authorized as an execution method in Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi, but no state has used it.

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