23 Years Ago in TIME

Lethal injection, a subject of controversy in the U.S., was once expected to allay public squeamishness about the DEATH PENALTY.

The long-building public sentiment to get tough with violent criminals, to kill the killers, seems on the verge of putting the nation's 15 electric chairs, nine gas chambers, several gallows and ad hoc firing squads back to regular work. In addition, five states have a new and peculiarly American technique for killing, lethal anesthesia injections, which could increase public acceptance of executions ... For years, the capital-punishment debate has been sporadic and mainly intramural ... But now an old array...

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