Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Last GaspThe Rise and Fall of the American Gas Chamber$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Scott Christianson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255623

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255623.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

“Cruel and Unusual Punishment”?

“Cruel and Unusual Punishment”?

(p.206) Chapter 11 “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”?
The Last Gasp

Scott Christianson

University of California Press

By the late 1970s, public opinion in the United States was swinging ever more strongly in favor of the death penalty. Although the public's appetite for gas chambers had diminished, eleven states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico (until 1978), North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Wyoming—still clung to that method of capital punishment. But the legal battle over the constitutionality of lethal gas executions, and the rise of the new method of lethal injection, were just beginning to take hold. Henry Schwarzschild, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project, served as one of the key national players in the anti-death penalty movement in the late 1970s. After John Spenkelink's execution, attention shifted to Jesse Walter Bishop and Jimmy Lee Gray. One by one, states had backed away from the continued use of the gas chamber, usually substituting lethal injection instead.

Keywords:   United States, death penalty, gas chamber, executions, lethal gas, capital punishment, Henry Schwarzschild, lethal injection, Jesse Walter Bishop, Jimmy Lee Gray

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.