Arizona to use Zyklon B to kill prisoners

You’ve convinced me. Firing squad, made up of people who freely choose to do that, sounds like the best practical option at this time.

Sure, but that doesn’t mean a non-government actor has to assist, particularly non-Americans outside the US. It’s not a veto, and it’s not disobeying “what was legislated”.

It doesn’t really matter whether i think it’s barbaric. What matters is that the EU considers it barbaric, and that’s where those drugs are made.

Just to note, the poll you linked was from 2015. Support has dropped to 55% in the more recent poll last year. Also interesting, when the question was asked “which do you think is the better penalty for murder – the death penalty or life imprisonment, with absolutely no possibility of parole,” 35% favored the death penalty and 60% favored life in prison.

But now there is a movement to end Life Imprisonment.

I always thought the guillotine was dropped (haha) because concerns that the decapitated head remained conscious a few seconds after. Even the master, Cecil Adams, has admitted that it may be possible.

"One can of course never be certain that anyone in this predicament is aware of his surroundings and realizes (briefly) what has happened to him. But I concede the possibility that he might.

Cecil Adams"


I would have imagined it easier for the state to organize a quick firing squad or hanging rather than find an evil chemist or rogue physician willing and able to design gas chambers, lethal chemical agents, drug cocktails, and other Rube Goldberg methods of killing people. They probably don’t have any guillotines in storage, either.

I don’t believe this has anything to do with why the guillotine was abandoned. This was mostly a niche aspect of the use of the guillotine that wasn’t widely known or considered contemporaneously.

Instead the guillotine basically stopped being used when the countries that used it opted to stop utilizing capital punishment entirely. France was the country where the modern guillotine was invented, and it remained the method of execution in France until 1981 when the death penalty was abolished, it was last used in 1977. Germany adopted the guillotine with vigor in the mid 1930s and it was one of the most-favored means of execution for “common” crimes and for ordinary non-military executions of political prisoners (the death camp system for specific genocide being a different thing not conducted using the Nazis criminal justice system), West Germany continued to use the guillotine for the few crimes under its jurisdiction that resulted in death sentences after the war, until 1949 when it abolished capital punishment. East Germany continued practicing the death penalty and using the guillotine until 1966, I don’t know the reasons for them abolishing it, but the death penalty after the 1960s for ordinary crime was very rare in East Germany (political killings, often done in secret, were more common, but still relatively rare compared to some other absolutist countries.)

Sorry, I meant dropped from consideration as a modern form of humane capital punishment. I didn’t realize Germany used guillotines though, so that is something new I learned from you. I had thought guillotines were only used in the Francophone world (France, Vietnam, and I think the French West Indies).


Sometimes a firing squad misses the heart and that causes a very painful death.

The Soviets would fire a single 7.62mm round at the base of the skull close range, and that seemed effective enough for them to do it hundreds of thousands of times.

Yes, and this was the result on the chief executioner under Stalin:

And once, in their tiny vestige of New France

As long as they don’t use bullets made out of BLEI, which is the material the Nazis used to make rifle bullets.

Dunno if you are just trying to make a joke or if you are serious. But I’m sure no one cares if they use the same kind of bullets the Nazis used. No one was shocked and appalled by the kind of bullets the Nazis used, either. The Nazi gas chambers DID shock and appall many people.

But only because they used them in a genocidal way. It was not the method they used that was evil. That’s the point of my objection. The hysterical headlines of “Zyklon B!!! Just what the Nazis used!!!”. But Arizona isn’t committing genocide or killing people based on race or religion. If someone doesn’t approve of the DP, then that’s fine, but it is an intellectually dishonest comparison.

I don’t think it was just that they were using them in a genocidal way. I think the idea of gassing a bunch of innocents was even more appalling than the idea of lining up a bunch of innocents and shooting them. After all, the world banned the use of poison gas in warfare after WWI, and didn’t ban the use of bullets in warfare. I think the very existence of the gas chambers was horrifying to the world.

In the realm of capitalizing on the suffering of others to push a political/social agenda, we now have antivaxers and Covid truthers co-opting Juneteenth.

Judging from the actual link it seems like his suicide was more of a result of the de-stalinization campaign that got him stripped of his rank and privileges.

The problem was that there were too many people to be murdered. They did try mass shootings in the beginning (like Babi Yar, where 25.000 Jews were murdered over the course of two or three days). At least according to Martin Gilbert this caused so much distress even among the SS soldiers, that they decided to move the killing out of sight and industrialize it, as it were, so fewer people were needed to perform executions. Plus the industrial scale helped to further dehumanize the victims, making it easier on the executioners.