Chemical agent was used by Nazis in death camps during the Holocaust
The state of Arizona is preparing to kill death row inmates using Zyklon B, a lethal gas employed during the Holocaust at Auschwitz-Birkenau and other death camps.
Arizona’s department of corrections spent more than $2,000 acquiring the chemicals necessary to make cyanide gas, including a block of potassium cyanide in December for $1,530, documentation obtained by The Guardian shows.
Sodium hydroxide pellets and sulfuric acid were also bought, and the prison’s gas chamber, built in 1949 and unused for 22 years, was dusted off and “refurbished,” the UK paper reported.
The move is an attempt to restart Arizona’s execution system, which was placed on hold for the last seven years following a series of botched executions by lethal injection.
Death row inmates will be given the choice of selecting their own method of execution, lethal injection or gas chamber, The Guardian reported, adding that both practices have a record of painful and drawn-out deaths.
Two inmates are selected as likely candidates for the renewed procedure: Frank Atwood, 65, sentenced to death for killing an eight-year-old girl, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, in 1984; and Clarence Dixon, 65, convicted of the 1978 murder of a college student, Deana Bowdoin, The Guardian reported.
The Nazis used hydrogen cyanide under the trade name Zyklon B to kill more than 1 million people in gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau and other extermination camps, The Guardian reported.
During the Holocaust, as many as 6 million Jews were killed by the German Nazi government’s policy of genocide.
Others, including homosexuals, communists, disabled people, Slavs and Gypsies, were also murdered in the death camps.