FACT CHECK: Did CNN Report On Arizona’s Decision To Use Gas Chambers To Execute Child Molesters?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a CNN chyron reporting that Arizona is using gas chambers to execute convicted child molesters.

Verdict: False

The image is digitally fabricated. There is no evidence that CNN reported on the topic or that Arizona has decided to execute child molesters with lethal gas.

Fact Check:

The Facebook image, garnering over 165 likes, appears to show a CNN news chyron that reads, “Arizona now executing child molesters in a Holocaust like ‘Gas Chamber.'” The alleged image appears to be from a CNN broadcast that includes an image of one of the gas chambers.

The chyron is digitally altered. No mention of this headline can be found on the outlet’s website or social media accounts. The original broadcast, which first aired in January 2016, reported on various news topics, none of which included Arizona’s use of gas chambers. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A CNN Tweet About Child Soldiers In Ukraine?)

“This is a fabricated post,” CNN Communications Director Bridget Leininger confirmed to Check Your Fact in an emailed statement.

The gas chamber became the state’s main method of execution in 1934 but was replaced with lethal injection in 1992 following a referendum, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Death Row inmates who were sentenced before 1992 can still elect the gas chamber as a method of execution, the center states.

The last prisoner executed by lethal gas in the state was Walter B. LaGrand in March 1999, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry. There are no credible news reports suggesting Arizona has reverted back to this method of execution for those convicted of child molestation.

UPDATE: This post has been updated to include the comment from Bridget Leininger.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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