“It was almost unbearable”: Eyewitness reports: The first execution with nitrogen was that brutal

When Kenneth Eugene Smith died, Lee Hedgepeth sat behind a glass window and hoped that the 58-year-old would finally take his last breath.

“It was almost unbearable”: Eyewitness reports: The first execution with nitrogen was that brutal

When Kenneth Eugene Smith died, Lee Hedgepeth sat behind a glass window and hoped that the 58-year-old would finally take his last breath. “It was almost unbearable to watch him die,” Hedgepeth says on the phone. His voice trembles, the journalist always takes his time with his answers and seems to weigh every word he says. But he wants to get one thing straight: "I'm not an opponent of the death penalty," he says. And then continues almost breathlessly: "But, when we execute someone, we should do it properly and not with a wildly nailed together method."

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