Kenneth Smith: Alabama prisoner 'struggled for his life' in nitrogen gas execution

The bends is pressure related but what happens is that the nitrogen in your blood creates bubbles in your veins and the bubbles moving round your body makes you writhe in pain.
Its the quick change in pressure that causes the nitrogen to do this.
I was wondering if breathing in high volumes of nitrogen like that would do something similar.
he would be rebreathing oxygen and carbon dioxide and then a lot of nitrogen.... until all the oxygen is gone.

I feel like carbon monoxide would have been way better.
Nope ... /wanders off topic cos this stuff is interesting to me.

The air you breathe is 70% nitrogen anyway, to start with.

When you breathe air under pressure (and I mean, your whole body being under pressure - at 30m depth you're under 4 bar of pressure, compared to 1 bar at the surface), gases dissolve in your bloodstream and body tissues. You can see an example of this when you open a bottle of coke. The bottle is at about 2 bar when it's closed if I remember right. There's CO2 dissolved in the liquid at 2 bar pressure. When you drop the pressure in the bottle by opening the cap, the gas comes out of solution and forms bubbles. Same thing happens when you reduce the pressure on your body (eg by ascending when diving). The gas in your blood and other tissues will have equalised in pressure to your increased outside pressure - and when you reduce this pressure the gas comes back out of solution and forms bubbles, as you say. But not just in your blood - also in other tissues, including bones and connective tissues. Your joints are pretty susceptible to this.
The pain from the bends comes from bubbles forming in your joints/connective tissues. Bubbles in your blood are pretty harmless unless they're big enough to cause an obstruction - but during your normal decompression/outgassing process as part of a safe dive you'll have bubbles in your venous circulation anyway (pressure is lower in your veins than in your arteries) - these generally just reach the lungs and transfer out with your breath. Because your venous system increases in size as it reaches the end of its route, this is generally not an issue. A complication comes in when you have something called a PFO (patent foramen ovale - this is a birth defect where the opening between your left and right atria in your heart doesn't close completely. This comes with a risk of venous blood being shunted into your arterial blood flow - especially when you're under changing external pressures). In this case the bubbles could go into your arterial flow, in which case there's a good chance of them causing an obstruction somewhere as the arterial circulatory system narrows down as it divides up into capillaries. At this point you are having a stroke or heart attack, from an arterial gas embolism.

Another fun nitrogen related fact is that it becomes narcotic under high partial pressures - but we're talking like 3 bar here). If you ever see a diver trying to offer a potato bass his regulator so bro doesn't drown, that diver's probably narced. You do develop resistance to this though - if you bomb down to 30m on your first dive on a dive trip, you're gonna feel seriously drunk. But by the end of the week's diving, it has little to no effect at that depth. (Oh and oxygen becomes toxic at partial pressures above about 1.8 bar)
 
F that. Why should we pay to keep scum alive.

If there should be any criticism it's that they take too long to eventually off the fckers...
2 reasons:
1) The state has no moral legitimacy for killing someone who presents no direct threat.
2) The cost of incarcerating someone like this is less than the cost of letting them roam around free in society.
 
Personally I think Carbon Monoxide would have been far gentler,it binds the same site on Hemoglobin as Oxygen so you drift into unconsciousness and asphyxiate
*Note it's probably similar to Nitrogen as Sinbad mentions
 
Personally I think Carbon Monoxide would have been far gentler,it binds the same site on Hemoglobin as Oxygen so you drift into unconsciousness and asphyxiate
The same happens with hypoxia (drift into unconsciousness).

The struggles came from him consciously knowing he was going to die.
 
The same happens with hypoxia (drift into unconsciousness).

The struggles came from him consciously knowing he was going to die.
Hmm,fair enough,I haven't looked into the mechanics of Nitrogen gas displacement. But I guess at a glance that should be accurate since the Urge for breathing is CO2 related,not O2
 
I guess the panic and writhing was "impending doom" rather than subconscious breathing exertion
 
All murderers must be killed. It is as simple as that. I’m happy with this outcome. One less piece of kak to deal with and for taxpayers to feed till eternity.
 
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I suspect what happened was that he held his breath and his carbon dioxide levels rose to the level which asphyxiated him. As I understand it, breathing nitrogen naturally would be like the effects of a sudden depressurisation in a jet, the co2 is eliminated by breathing air with very little oxygen in it so you pass out very quickly but the co2 is removed by that breathing. Correct me if I'm on the wrong track here.
 
I suspect what happened was that he held his breath and his carbon dioxide levels rose to the level which asphyxiated him. As I understand it, breathing nitrogen naturally would be like the effects of a sudden depressurisation in a jet, the co2 is eliminated by breathing air with very little oxygen in it so you pass out very quickly but the co2 is removed by that breathing. Correct me if I'm on the wrong track here.
Yeah i'm leaning that way here
 
All this time and cost when a 9mm is *google's US price* just 24 cents.
 
F that. Why should we pay to keep scum alive.

If there should be any criticism it's that they take too long to eventually off the fckers..
Because the appeals process to make sure that they don't execute innocent people costs more than keeping them alive for life. And even then they still execute innocent people.
 
I mean if they want to make it uneventful why not a sedative first and then the nitrogen?
 
I mean if they want to make it uneventful why not a sedative first and then the nitrogen?
Yes that should have solved the problem but being Alabama they thought that was way too liberal...........
 
You're made of sterner stuff than I am then friend.

I think watching a human being suffer and struggle like that would haunt me for the rest of my life.
I thought so the too. The first time I had to kill (an already injured) animal I botched it totally. The poor animal suffered for longer than I had hoped for. It took a few days but my perception and guilt over the incident faded fairly quickly.

Nature all around us is cruel. Make nothing suffer for longer than it needs to but if something goes wrong in that process, it is what it is. You can't beat yourself up.
 
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