The United States has taken steps to acquire large quantities of nitrous oxide in a bid to proceed with its embattled programme of death row executions.

The Department of Corrections has long struggled to purchase drugs from pharmaceutical companies to carry out the death penalty on condemned inmates, with such companies increasingly wishing to distance themselves from judicial killings.

The ensuing boycott has brought executions to a standstill, with one anonymous pharmaceutical executive stating, “We’ve listened to our shareholders. They don’t like a medicine company being involved in killing. Apart from anything else, it’s off-brand.”

The DOC believes it has found the answer to the procurement issue in the form of nitrous oxide, commonly known as ‘laughing gas’.

The drug is widely available and, more importantly, cheap to purchase in bulk.

Death row watchdogs have been expressing concerns for years over the efficacy of executions, believing that some drugs cause undue pain and suffering.

The DOC believe there will be no such controversy with the new approach.

“We’ve done our research on this one. Laughter never hurt anyone,” explained a spokesperson.

“But too much of it can cause dizziness, tiredness and, if left to laugh long enough, death. We think this is the right way to go. There are no nasty side affects here. Just good, wholesome laughter.”

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