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Spiritual advisor describes ‘horrific’ final minutes of death row inmate who died of ‘inhumane’ method
Featured Image Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections / Westend61/Getty

Spiritual advisor describes ‘horrific’ final minutes of death row inmate who died of ‘inhumane’ method

He described it as being something like from a horror movie

A reverend who witnessed Kenneth Eugene's Smith execution has recalled the 'horrific' scenes.

Smith was executed on Thursday (January 25), age of 58, at the Holman Correction Facility Center in Alabama.

He was the first person to die by the controversial means of nitrogen hypoxia.

His time on death row came following his 1988 conviction for the murder of Elizabeth Sennett.

In Smith's final words, he hit out at Alabama state for causing humanity 'to take a step backwards'.

"I'm leaving with love, peace, and light. Thank you for supporting me. Love all of you," he added before making a heart sign to his wife.

One person to be present at Smith's execution was Reverend Jeff Hood, who was brought in to be the late convict's spiritual advisor.

Discussing Smith's death, Hood told The New York Post: "They were told this is going to be quick, easy and painless. They kept saying this is the most humane way society has ever figured out how to execute people.

"The whole thing was just horrific. It’s a scene that will never leave me. Some of [Smith’s] struggles looked produced for Hollywood."

Rev Jeff Hood said Smith's death was like a horror movie.

The 40-year-old reverend added: "If you had taken me in there and not told me I was at an execution I would think I was on a movie set, some sort of horrible creation gone amok."

Hood continues to note that he witnessed people's look of 'horror' as the execution took place - prison staff included.

Describing Smith as being like a 'fish out of water', the spiritual advisor said of people's reactions: "When the execution started and he began to writhe, it was noticeable that staff members began to shift around."

While there's been a lot of criticism about Smith's means of execution, Steve Marshall, Attorney General of Alabama, insisted it was 'textbook'.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday (January 26), Marshall told the media: "What occurred last night was textbook. As of last night, nitrogen hypoxia as a means of execution is no longer an untested method. It is a proven one."

Attorney General of Alabama, Steve Marshall says Smith's execution was 'textbook'.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

According to Marshall, a further 43 death row inmates have chosen to use nitrogen hypoxia as a method of execution.

While some people have reportedly opted for the controversial method, Smith's lawyers labelled it as 'cruel' in the wake of him having survived three attempted executions.

His legal representatives lodged a challenge with the Supreme Court, arguing that putting convicts through multiple execution attempts violates the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects against 'cruel and unusual' punishment - but this was ultimately dismissed.

Topics: Death Row, News, US News, Crime