1 in 5 Americans: Bring Back the Gas Chamber
NBC News poll finds most back alternative execution methods
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2014 8:06 AM CDT
In this May 13, 2011, file photo is the gas chamber on site at the former Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City.   (AP Photo/The News-Tribune, Julie Smith, File)

(Newser) – If one in five Americans had their way, the US wouldn't need to worry about an execution drug shortage because, well, we'd be gassing convicts. According to an NBC News poll, about two-thirds of 800 respondents said they would support alternative methods of execution: 20% are for gas chambers, 18% for the electric chair, 12% for firing squads, and 8% for hanging. "There is no such thing as killing someone humanely," a Texas man said, noting Clayton Lockett's botched execution. "But if hanging is done properly, it's more humane than lethal injection because there are fewer things that can go wrong."

One-third of respondents said executions should be stopped if lethal injections are no longer viable, but people were torn whether life in prison without parole or execution was the harsher punishment. While 59% said they support the death penalty for murderers, 35% were opposed. That shows a decline in support since the 1990s but little movement directly following Lockett's death. As a retiree noted, "The most humane way is the guillotine but I can’t see that coming back." A firing squad, though—which one senator is trying to bring back—"would be quick and with a firing squad no one knows whose bullet actually killed the person, so it’s easier on them."

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Chuck Roast
May 18, 2014 10:19 AM CDT
Deport the convinced low life's to another country
May 17, 2014 5:49 PM CDT
The poll ignored the best solution to the problem. Many years ago someone invented a humane method to execute, and his invention was named after him, Dr. Guillotine. If we want a swift, humane manner to rid the earth of murderous monsters, simply use the guillotine. One might give the monster a choice, face up or face down, so he might see the blade fall. Ideally, these executions should be televised, perhaps on education television, to instruct people on what awaits murderers. Relatives of the victims might speak before and after the beheading, giving reasons why the monster was executed. This might help empty our over-crowded prisons. The solution was invented centuries ago. Will we be brave enough to use it?
May 16, 2014 8:22 PM CDT
firing squad an make the killers family pay for them. thats what they do in china oh an it done right away not years later no appeal