September 13, 2022
Alabama Insanity: On the Potential Gas Chamber Execution of Alan Eugene Miller
Before government officials in Alabama go ahead with an untested gas chamber execution of Alan Eugene Miller (nitrogen hypoxia), it might be wise to consider a few experiential facts…
Millions upon millions of people were killed in Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust.
On September 2, 1983, Jimmy Lee Gray was tightly restrained inside Mississippi’s gas chamber. At the time, the chamber had an iron vertical bar that ran up the back of the restraining chair. Gray’s head was left unrestrained. A prison employee let the gasses flow. According to United Press International reporter Dan Lohwasser, when Gray started to breathe the poisonous air in…he started thrashing his head back and forth…striking the iron vertical bar repeatedly until he lost consciousness. After 8 minutes, officials raced to clear the room so that the press wouldn’t continuing seeing the botched execution. Gray’s attorney, Dennis Balske, declared, “Jimmy Lee Gray died banging his head against an iron bar in the gas chamber while reporters counted his moans.”
On April 6, 1992, Donald Eugene Harding was strapped into Arizona’s gas chamber. The fumes began. Looking red and contorted, Harding clinched his jaw. Unable to stop, Harding took a few breathes…and immediately started convulsing violently. Every vein in his face started to balloon and Harding’s face looked like it was going to explode. Shuddering uncontrollably, Harding was wracked with spasms and clinched his fists Tears flowed from his face. Every muscle in his body twitched. For almost eleven minutes, Harding suffered immeasurably until he was dead.
After becoming disturbed at the cruel and inhumane practice using gas chambers to kill shelter animals, New York Governor David Paterson signed a law banning them on October 29, 2010.
So this is what Alabama wants to do? Copy the Nazis? Repeat botched execution techniques? Use an execution technique that New York doesn’t even allow for dogs?
Are these the descriptions government officials in Alabama want in the media the day after the execution?
If so, they’re more callous than I could’ve ever imagined.
The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood
Advisory Board, Death Penalty Action