ARIZONA is preparing to execute death row inmates using hydrogen cyanide – the same lethal gas used by the Nazis at Auschwitz, according to reports.
The state's gas chamber is said to have undergone a refurbishment, with corrections department chiefs spending thousands on ingredients to make the deadly gas.
Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal a solid brick of potassium cyanide was bought in December for $1,530, on top of the more than $2,000 spent on acquiring materials
Sodium hydroxide pellets and sulfuric acid – used to create the lethal gas – were also purchased.
And the state's gas chamber in the Arizona State Prison Complex, Florence – which was built back in 1949 and has stood unused for more than two decades -has been "refurbished" according to the department.
Republican-run Arizona has been pushing in recent months for its execution system to be restarted.
It was suspended for seven years when a botched injection in 2014 saw inmate Joseph Woods take almost two hours to die after 14 doses of a mix of drugs that were not widely used at the time were pumped into his body.
Last August, a series of tests were conducted at the chamber to assess its "operability".
Doors and windows were checked over to ensure they are airtight, while drains were cleared of blockages.
Water was instead of deadly chemicals and a smoke grenade in place of gas.
Arizona has not used lethal gassing as a way of execution since 1999, when Walter LeGrand was subjected to the method.
The German national was sentenced to death for an armed robbery in 1982, in which a man was killed.
According to an eyewitness account of his execution, he appeared to experience "agonizing chocking and gagging", taking 18 minutes to die.
Now, more than two decades on, Arizona has lined up two inmates of the 115 people on death row as likely candidates to be executed first when the penalty is reinstated.
They are 65-year-old Frank Atwood, who was sentenced to death for killing an eight-year-old girl in 1984, and Clarence Dixon, also 65, who was convicted of murdering a college student in 1978.
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