OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma would be the first state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates under a bill that has unanimously cleared a Senate committee.
With no debate, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-0 Tuesday to authorize "nitrogen hypoxia," which depletes oxygen supply in the blood to cause death.
The bill's author, Sen. Anthony Sykes, says it's likely the bill will be amended before the session is over.
Three lethal injections remain on hold in Oklahoma while the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether Oklahoma's three-drug method is constitutional.
A House committee studied the use of nitrogen gas to execute inmates after a botched lethal injection last spring sparked the legal challenge.
Senate Bill 794: http://bit.ly/1EVExy9