To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Final meal of Death Row inmate killed by controversial new execution method

Final meal of Death Row inmate killed by controversial new execution method

Convicted killer Kenneth Smith was allowed one final meal of his choice before his execution.

The final meal that death row inmate Kenneth Smith was allowed before he was executed using a controversial new method has been revealed.

The killer, who was convicted of the murder-for-hire of Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett in 1988, was put to death at 8.25pm CST (02.25am GMT) at the Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama yesterday (25 January).

The state relied on a never-before-used method, nitrogen hypoxia, to carry out the execution following a botched attempt to put him to death using the lethal injection in November 2022.

The process - which is only authorised by Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi - involves breathing in nitrogen through a respirator mask placed over the inmate's nose and mouth, which kills them as a result of oxygen deprivation.

As the date of Smith's execution neared, a huge debate surrounding the ethicalness of nitrogen hypoxia erupted.

The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights voiced opposition to the method, saying it could amount to torture or inhumane treatment, while veterinary scientists in the US and Europe compared it with being unacceptable for most small mammals.

Lawyers representing Smith claimed that the process would violate his rights under the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects people against 'cruel and unusual' punishments.

Kenneth Smith ate his final meal at 10am on Thursday morning, just hours before he was put to death by nitrogen hypoxia.
Alabama Department of Corrections

But the US Supreme Court declined to hear the death row inmate's appeal on Wednesday (24 January) and denied the his request to halt the execution.

Reports claim Smith had nine visitors in his final hours, with his wife, son, brother, two nieces, spiritual advisor, attorney and a friend being among those who came to visit him for one last time.

Before he was taken to the death chamber, he was able to eat a final meal of his choice.

According to his spiritual advisor, Rev Dr Jeff Hood, Smith put through a hefty order from the popular American restaurant chain Waffle House on Thursday morning.

It reportedly consisted of a T-bone steak, hash browns and scrambled eggs in A.1. sauce (brown sauce) and toast.

The dad was then denied food for eight hours prior to his death, which occurred 22 minutes after the execution began, in a bid to reduce the chance of him vomiting and to minimise any 'substantial risk of harm' during the process.

Smith was only allowed clear liquids as the clock neared to his execution time.

The death row inmate only consumed clear liquids in his final hours.
Getty Stock Photo

It has been claimed that the day before he was put to death, the prisoner had declined both breakfast and lunch.

Instead, he only consumed a Mountain Dew and a Pepsi - but did eat some of his evening meal.

Before the nitrogen was administered yesterday, Smith shared some final words and gestured lovingly to his family and those watching the moment through a glass window.

His last words were: "Tonight, Alabama caused humanity to take a step backward. I am leaving with love, peace and light - thank you for supporting me. I love all of you."

Smith then made an 'I love you' sign in sign language towards his family before the never-before-used execution method got underway.

According to eyewitnesses present at the execution, Smith 'writhed and convulsed' on the gurney, with his 'body shaking violently and his eyes rolling in the back of his head' before he took his final breath.

Featured Image Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections/Getty stock photo

Topics: Crime, News, US News, Death Row