This week's slow lethal injection death of an Arizona inmate has some talking about new ways to carry out executions.
America has gone from burning at the stake, to hanging, to the electric chair. But Kent Scheidegger at the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation says the most humane form of capital punishment would be to bring back the gas chamber.
“Nitrogen, argon and helium, any of those would produce hypoxia which produces unconsciousness followed by death, and it is indeed painless,” Scheidegger tells KTRH News.
“It doesn't take any medical training to turn a valve, which is all you have to do to flush a chamber of nitrogen,” he says. “This would eliminate a lot of the problems that we are seeing with lethal injection.”
However, State Sen. John Whitmire says there's been nothing discussed here in Texas.
“I haven't read, heard or had any conversations with prison officials about any difficulties in Texas,” Whitmire says. “Fortunately we've got the process pretty refined.”
That's because Texas, unlike Arizona other capital punishment states, has not had a problem securing the needed Phenobarbital to carry out seamless executions.
Our prison officials thus far have been very competent and are very comfortable with the process they're using, and I haven't heard any discussion about changing it,” says Whitmire.
Texas has two lethal injections scheduled in September and two in October.