Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Lethal History of the Gas Chamber

It is difficult to find a way to deliberately put a human being to death that modern Americans can agree is “humane.” Perhaps for this reason, methods of execution have repeatedly been invented that were touted as humane only to later be criticized as inhumane. Here, we investigate the rise and fall of the gas chamber’s popularity as a method of shipping the condemned off to the afterlife.

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