Arizona Plans to Execute Prisoners with a Lethal Gas the Nazis Used at Auschwitz

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Professor Deborah Denno shares her expert opinion on Arizona’s plan to use lethal gas to execute prisoners on death row.

Arizona is taking steps to use hydrogen cyanide, the deadly gas used during the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis at Auschwitz and other extermination camps, to kill inmates on death row.

Corrections officials have refurbished a gas chamber that hasn’t been used in more than 20 years and have procured ingredients for the lethal gas, also known as Zyklon B, according to partially redacted documents obtained by the Guardian. Invoices show that the state purchased a brick of potassium cyanide, sodium hydroxide pellets and sulfuric acid, and a report details the considerable efforts taken to deem the gas chamber at a prison in Florence, Ariz., “operationally ready.”

“It’s without question that lethal gas, or as least the lethal gas that Arizona is trying to bring back, is the most gruesome of all these methods we’ve had in this country,” Denno told The Washington Post on Tuesday.

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