A Death Row inmate has been told he must choose between being executed by lethal injection or through cyanide gas that was used by the Nazis to execute millions in World War 2.
Frank Attwood, 66, has been stewing on Arizona’s Death Row since 1984 for the brutal murder of eight-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson – a crime he denies.
Yesterday (May 3), the supreme court of Arizona issued an execution warrant for Attwood and which means barring any last minute appeals he will be executed on June 8.
Attwood now has until May 19 to choose his execution method, however Arizona’s controversial use of Zyklon B gas will likely dominate headlines in the run in.
The last time Arizona used the notorious gas was in the 1990’s and it was equally criticized due to the gruesome deaths of the prisoners.
The Guardian reports that the case caused one man to suffer a prolonged 18-minute death rattle which included “agonising choking and gagging.”
The gas’s use by the Nazi’s during the Holocaust makes it all the more alarming that it is still used for legal executions.
Attwood’s own mother fled Austria in 1939 as her Jewish heritage would have made her a target.
As the deadline approaches, Attwood’s lawyers have been vocal in their wish for him to opt against the cyanide treatment.
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Should Attwood choose the gas treatment, he would be the first person executed this century to choose it.
A member of Atwood’s legal team Joseph Perkovich said: “Cyanide is as bad as everybody thinks it is – there’s a reason the Nazis used it: it’s a horrific way to die.
“We are now in the position of having to dissuade our client from opting to go into a cyanide gas chamber, and we have 15 days to do it.”
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