Arizona plans to use gas chamber again, sparking revulsion, disbelief | News – Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona 2021-06-10 09:45:00 –

Reports that Washington-Arizona is preparing to execute death row prisoners with gas similar to that used on the Holocaust have produced reactions ranging from “concern” to “fear,” but most. The general reaction was distrust.

“What were they thinking?” Robert Dunham, secretary general of the Death Penalty Information Center, asked in response to news reports that the state had purchased potassium cyanide for use in a refurbished gas chamber this year. It was.

“No one in the Arizona Corrections Bureau was studying the Holocaust. If so, why didn’t they object?” He asked.

The report comes from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich requesting the Arizona Supreme Court to execute executions for Frank Atwood and Clarence Dixon, who have been in prison for more than 30 years, respectively.

Atwood was convicted of kidnapping and killing an eight-year-old Tucson girl in 1984, and Dixon was convicted of raping and killing a student at Arizona State University Tempe in 1978. ..

Brunovich told the court: Both men Their death sentence should be carried out because they have run out of their complaints.

“The death penalty is an Arizona law and an appropriate response to those who commit the most shocking and vulgar murders,” Brunovich said. In the statement He was released when he petitioned the court in April. “This is about managing justice and ensuring that the last word belongs to an innocent victim who can no longer speak for himself.”

The May court set both hearing schedules Atwood And Dixon This could pave the way for executions as early as this fall. As a result, state officials are scrambling to prepare for executions.

Atwood and Dixon committed crimes before 1992, so they have the option of lethal injection or gas chamber death. Both methods are problematic when the state last uses them and require chemicals that are difficult for the state to secure.

Is Guardian reported Arizona ordered over $ 2,000 in chemicals last month. Potassium cyanide, For use in a refurbished gas chamber that was last used in the 1990s. According to reports that Donald Harding was executed in a gas chamber in 1992. “I struggled hard” More than 10 minutes in what one witness called “very violent” death. According to news reports, Walter Lagran took 18 minutes to die in the room, gasping and suffocating.

“I’m deeply concerned that Arizona is even considering plans to execute deadly gas,” said Dixon’s public defender, Dale Baichi.

He said prisoners “should not be forced by the state to choose how to kill them.” Whatever the method, both Baichi and Danum questioned the state’s ability to execute the death penalty.

For example, Mr. Dunham said the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Re-entry “The receipts obtained by the Guardians indicate that the state purchased potassium cyanide.”

“If deadly gas is used in the run, this will certainly be a problem,” Dunham said. Department protocol Specifies that gas runs should be run with sodium cyanide.

Brunovich did not respond to a request for comment on the preparation for the execution. The amendment department responded with a prepared statement stating that whatever the outcome was, it was ready.

“The Arizona Corrections Bureau, along with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, is ready to fulfill its constitutional obligations, execute court orders, and provide justice to victims’ families,” said a corrections bureau spokesperson. , Says Judy Keane.

But experts say by death Lethal injection There is not much problem. Baichi witnessed the last execution in the state where Joseph Wood was lethal in 2014.

“It took him an hour and 57 minutes to die,” Baichi said. “It was the longest execution in American history.”

The Death Penalty Information Center reported that Wood’s executioner had to administer a “drug cocktail” of midazolam and hydromorphone 15 times, which caused him to breathe out and snort. 1 hour Before he was declared dead.

Subsequent proceedings banned the use of midazolam for lethal injection by the state, and Arizona “tried to import illegal lethal injections from India, but the Federal Pharmacy confiscated the drug at Phoenix Airport,” DPIC said. Said the report.

But Brunovich has Governor Doug Ducey 2019 And 2020 Says the state has found a legitimate supplier Pentobarbital, It could be used for deadly injections and was ready to resume execution.

“Of the more than 100 convict on death row in Arizona, 20 have exhausted their complaints. Some of their vicious crimes date back to the 1970s, and it’s time for them to be held liable. “It was,” Brunovich said in those letters.

Critics argue that the state is not ready to carry out “safe and effective” executions that do not repeat Wood’s execution, which failed in 2014.

“The state’s plan to use the same gas that the Nazis used in Auschwitz is a terrifying way to die for everyone,” said Natman Shay, senior court adviser to the Arizona Capital Representative Project.

Shay, a longtime representative of Atwood, said he was “ready to file various proceedings if the warrant was ordered by the court,” arguing that Atwood should not have been sentenced to death in the first place. Both execution methods are torture for Atwood.

“Frank’s spine has deteriorated over the decades to the point where he’s been trapped in a wheelchair for the past five years,” Shay said.

The state’s answer was to note that Atwood could choose a gas chamber. But Shay said the client’s death from cyanide gas was “especially scary because Frank’s mother was an Austrian Jew who fled the Holocaust at the beginning of World War II.”

Janice Freebaum, vice president of the Phoenix Holocaust Association, said these repercussions of the Holocaust were particularly troublesome for victims and their survivors. The deadly gas death is “not a humane death, but a suffocation death, which is painful,” she said.

“We remember what the gas chambers did to our own people, and it’s scary to know that it’s happening by our own government,” Freebaum said. It was. “It’s a cruel execution made by the Nazis.”

Wherever she was sentenced to death, she said, “there must be other methods of execution that do not cause suffering.”

“It’s even scary that Arizona considers deadly gas as a method of execution … The images of our ancestors killed in the gas chambers really never leave your head,” says Freebaum. I did.

Arizona plans to use gas chamber again, sparking revulsion, disbelief | News Source link Arizona plans to use gas chamber again, sparking revulsion, disbelief | News

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