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Missouri May Reinstate Gas Chamber

Missouri last executed a prisoner in the gas chamber in 1965 -- but it may soon reinstate the fatal practice.
 
 
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 Missouri may have to reinstitute the gas chamber as a result of the state Supreme Court's refusal to set execution dates, the state attorney general said.

The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to set any execution dates until a federal legal challenge is resolved on to the state's use of propofol in its new execution protocol.

Attorney General Chris Koster said in a motion this week that waiting for the litigation to run its course could cause the state's limited supply of propofol to expire unused on the shelf. Koster said that if the court doesn't reverse course, then Missouri will have to find statutorily authorized alternatives to perform executions.

The only such alternative is the gas chamber.

"It may be the last option we have to enforce Missouri law," Koster told the Kansas City Star.

Missouri last executed a prisoner in the gas chamber in 1965. Missouri and other states turned to lethal injection after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1972 stopped executions across the country.

Even though its gas chamber has been dismantled, Missouri never removed the option from the law.

Propofol is an intravenously administered, short-term anesthetic. It was famously injected into Michael Jackson before the pop star died.

 
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