A Twist Before Dying

A snafu at the execution of a serial killer inflames the debate about humaneness and capital punishment

For the families of John Wayne Gacy's victims, his death was long anticipated. Just past midnight last Tuesday, the man who tortured and murdered 33 young men and boys during the 1970s would be executed by lethal injection at the Stateville penitentiary in Joliet, Illinois. Justice would be served, swift and clean, as three chemicals were introduced intravenously into his bloodstream. The first drug would knock him out, the second would suppress his breathing, the last would stop his heart. The procedure would take no more than five minutes. But Gacy would take 18 minutes to die. A clog developed in...

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