Only Following Orders

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Clawmarks in the walls of Auschwitz gas chamber.

The State of Arizona is once again proving that nothing in this day and age is out of bounds.

In their efforts to resume capital punishment, Arizona is planning on using cyanide gas to execute those under the sentence of death. The most famous use of cyanide gas was by the Nazis in their effort to eliminate Jews, Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, the handicapped, and anyone else. This was more efficient than the guillotine, starvation or individual gunshots to the head.

The Nazi system was simple. After stealing people’s valuables and stripping them naked, force them into the gas chamber, and drop in the Zyklon B. Ignore the screams and the fingernail marks on the walls as they desperately tried to escape.

The last use of cyanide for an execution in Arizona was similarly gruesome. The condemned took 18 minutes to die, struggling, gagging, and coughing the entire time.

Don’t worry, though, if you are called upon to witness an execution in Arizona. Since the gas chamber hasn’t been used in over twenty years, they checked the seals and even held a candle near them to look for leaks. Nineteenth century safety checks for a 20th century process.

If you want to read more, Newsweek has an article, “Arizona Prepares to Use Auschwitz Gas Zyklon B on Death Row Inmates.”

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