OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a bill allowing execution by nitrogen gas.
The state Senate Judiciary approved House Bill 1879 by 8-0 vote, and sent it to the full Senate. The measure already has been approved by the state House.
It states that if the state's preferred method of execution, lethal injection, is found unconstitutional, the secondary method will be "nitrogen hypoxia," and the third alternative electrocution.
Oklahoma's execution regime today begins with lethal injection, then electrocution, then firing squad.
Nitrogen hypoxia means starving the person of oxygen. Atmospheric air at ground level is 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. Death by nitrogen hypoxia would cause a person to black out and eventually die.