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Missouri Attorney General Threatens To Bring Back The Gas Chamber

In an email exchange with the Associated Press, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster threatened to bring back the gas chamber as a means of capital punishment in his state.

Koster is frustrated over the delay in executions caused by the Missouri Supreme Court, which has put the punishment on hold as it debates the practice of lethal injections.

“The Missouri death penalty statute has been, in my opinion, unnecessarily entangled in the courts for over a decade,” Koster told the AP.

When asked whether the chamber would constitute cruel and unusual punishment, Koster responded, “The premeditated murder of an innocent Missourian is cruel and unusual punishment. The lawful implementation of the death penalty, following a fair and reasoned jury trial, is not.”

Missouri hasn’t used the gas chamber since 1965, and the practice has been largely phased out as a method of execution in the United States, with at least one court deeming it cruel and unusual punishment. Lethal injections, meanwhile, have been problematic since the company that makes a primary ingredient of the drug cocktail stopped production. Missouri planned to institute the use of propofol, the same drug that killed Michael Jackson, but a lawsuit on behalf of that state’s death row inmates immediately stalled the proceedings.

[h/t Think Progress]


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