COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The State of Alabama is seeking to move forward and give death row inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith what he is requesting — execution by nitrogen hypoxia.

If the Alabama Supreme Court agrees to set an execution date, it would be the first time the execution method would be approved for use in Alabama.

The Alabama Legislature approved the method in 2018 — but no state has actually used it.

As recently as July, Alabama officials said the method wasn’t ready for use after death row inmate James Barber requested it. Barber was executed by lethal injection on July 21.  

Smith was convicted of a 1988 murder-for-hire-killing in Colbert County in 1988. Court records show Smith said he was paid $1,000 for the killing by the victim’s husband, Charles Sennett Sr., a Colbert County minister. Smith said two other men were also involved.

Charles Sennett killed himself before facing charges.

Last November, Alabama tried to execute Smith by lethal injection, but medical technicians couldn’t locate his veins, so it was eventually called off.

Smith filed a lawsuit seeking to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Smith’s request in May.

And now Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is moving forward, seeking to execute Smith using that method. He asked the Alabama Supreme Court to authorize an execution date for Smith, using nitrogen hypoxia.

It is essentially death by suffocation, the person dies from a lack of oxygen.