Refurbished gas chamber
Arizona plans to execute death row inmates again using an old gas chamber, despite criticism that the method of execution is excessively cruel and brutal.
The State has rearranged the old gas chamber to ensure its operability, according to PBS. Prison officials said it would allow death row inmates to choose the gas chamber if they were ordered to be executed before Arizona adopted lethal injection in 1992.
The last person executed by gas chambers in the United States was executed in Arizona in 1999.
Nazi prison gas
Grand Canyon State also purchased ingredients for hydrogen cyanide gas, which the Nazis also used during the Holocaust. In fact, the Nazis killed 865,000 Jews at the Auschwitz concentration camp using gas.
“Whether or not one supports the death penalty in general, there is general agreement in American society that a gas designed as a pesticide and used to eliminate Jews has no place in the administration of the criminal justice, âthe American Jewish Committee said. said in a statement obtained by PBS.
The United States has also used gas to execute prisoners in the past.
More execution methods
Of course, that begs the question, “Why the hell is Arizona bringing back the gas chamber?” “
Much of the reason is due to another form of brutal execution: legal injection.
While originally introduced to provide a more “humane” way of taking the life of another human being, lethal injection has often resulted in slow, painful, and torturous deaths. In fact, the last prisoner executed in Arizona gasped and sniffled for two hours as he was injected with 15 doses of a two-drug combination.
The state suspended all executions after the incident, according to PBS.
As such, many states that still allow executions are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain deadly chemical injections, as drug makers refuse to provide them. This has given rise to attempts to give prisoners more choice over how they want to die.
For example, South Carolina recently passed a law that requires death row inmates to choose either a firing squad or an electric chair, according to NPR.
Regardless of what you think of capital punishment, gas chambers are a grotesque and cruel form of execution – and the fact that Arizona uses the same gas the Nazis used during the Holocaust to do so is simply badly caricature.
READ MORE: Arizona renovates gas chamber to resume executions [PBS]
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