The First Gas Chamber

October 16, 2012 in Trivia

Interior of Gas Death House of Nevada

This photo shows the interior of the Gas Death House of Nevada. Source: Bettmann/CORBIS.

Q: When was the gas chamber first used in an execution?

A: Feb. 8, 1924, Gee Jon was executed by gas chamber at Nevada state prison for the assassination of a rival Chinese tong gang member. It took about six minutes for Jon to die from the hydrocyanic gas.

Maj. D.A. Turner, U.S. Army Medical Corps, instigated the adoption of the use of the gas chamber. He believed it be the “quickest and most humane method of putting a human to death.”

Today only four states still use the gas chamber: Arizona, California, Missouri and Wyoming. Lethal injection is the preferred method of execution in all four states.