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Death and the Sun
Thursday, July 14th, 2005, 04:07 PM
How much do you actually know about tNP’s favorite method of punishment? ;)




A brief history of hanging

:noose2:

The origins of hanging as capital punishment are not well known. In Europe, hanging has been used since prehistoric times, all the way until the late 20th Century. Elsewhere in the world, the practice continues to this day; both legally and otherwise.

Ever since Judas Iscariot committed suicide by hanging after having betrayed Jesus, hanging has been associated with treason. In the medieval times, hanging was considered a particularly shameful way of execution, reserved for traitors and deceivers.

In the middle ages, due to its “shameful” nature, hanging was often reserved as a punishment for peasants. Noblemen were often beheaded instead.

In the same tradition, later a firing squad came to be considered a more “honourable” method of execution than hanging. It is interesting to note that the Nazi war criminals sentenced to death in the Nurnberg “trials” were hanged instead of executed by firing squad – which their status as military officers and high-ranking political leaders would have demanded. There are also rumours that the hangmen who executed the prisoners deliberately used ropes that were too short, causing the prisoners to slowly suffocate to death, instead of dying instantly and painlessly due to a broken neck.

Which brings us to ...



The long drop, short drop and sudden suspension

:noose2:

The short drop is a method of hanging in which the prisoner is placed on a ladder, cart, a horse etc. with the noose around his neck, and dropped or pushed off. This sometimes would cause an instant death if the prisoner's neck happened to break, but more often death was caused by suffocation and pressure on the carotic arteries, which prevented blood from flowing into the brain.

The so-called “long drop”, which is intended to cause immediate and apparently painless death, was invented in England by William Marwood in the late 19th century. Marwood had been a hangman’s apprentice, and had an interest in developing more reliable and consistent methods of execution. There was a demand for less gruesome hangings, after public executions were outlawed, and prison officials were required to attend the hangings that now took place in prison courtyards.

Marwood eventually developed a mathematical formula for the ideal lenght of the rope for each prisoner, based on the prisoner’s weight, gender, age and physical health. Too long a rope was a problem too, as Marwood discovered, since it often resulted in the prisoner’s head being severed from the body.

Marwood also introduced the practice of placing the noose behind the prisoner’s left ear, instead behind the back of the neck. This was more certain to dislocate the neck, and cause immediate unconsciousness.

A third method of hanging, sudden suspension, works in the reverse manner to the short or long drop; instead of the prisoner being dropped off a ladder or horse, or through a trapdoor, he was instead jerked upwards by the cord around his neck – usually by weights connected to the rope, which were released by the executioner.



Isaac “Hangin’ Judge” Parker
:noose2:

Another famous “hangman” (although he never acted as an executioner himself) and an ardent student of William Marwood’s theories was the American judge Isaac Parker (1838-1896).


http://www.nps.gov/fosm/images/history/judgeparker/parkerpicture.jpg

In 21 years, Judge Parker sentenced 168 men and four women to be hanged in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Parker studied Marwood's work, and adopted his innovations into his own hangings. Parker’s hangman was a man of German descent by the name of George Maledon. Maledon was also a famous gunslinger, and he hunted down five men Parker had sentenced to be hanged but who had escaped, and shot them to death.



Hanging in Britain
:noose2:

In Britain hanging has always been among the main forms of execution ever since the Anglo-Saxon times.

London most famous gallows were at Tyburn, near what is now Marble Arch, at the end of Oxford Street.


http://www.learningcurve.gov.uk/candp/punishment/g06/jpgs/g06cs1s2.jpg

Hangings were always public until 1868, and they were usually popular events. (The modern expression Gala Day is derived from the Anglo-Saxon gallows day.)

The death sentence was abolished in Britain in 1964, but until then the death sentence was mandatory for all persons found guilty of murder. In Britain it was rare for a convict to languish on death row for years – often the death sentence was carried out within weeks.

The last two hangings in Britain were carried out simultaneously on August 13th, 1964 at Walton (Liverpool) and Strangeways (Manchester) prisons -- exactly at the same moment.

A total of 865 people were executed in the British Isles during the 20th century until death sentence was abolished – this includes six American servicemen who were convicted of rape.




Surviving a hanging
:noose2:

In medieval times a hangman’s rope breaking three times was considered a sign of divine intervention, and the prisoner was released. But there are some accounts of people surviving succesful hangings also.

John Smith was hanged on London’s famous Tyburn gallows on Christmas Eve 1705. He dangled for approximately 15 minutes until the crowd began to demand reprieve. He was taken down and carried to a nearby house, where he stated the following:


"When I was turned off I was, for some time, sensible of very great pain occasioned by the weight of my body and felt my spirits in strange commotion, violently pressing upwards. Having forced their way to my head I saw a great blaze or glaring light that seemed to go out of my eyes in a flash and then I lost all sense of pain. After I was cut down, I began to come to myself and the blood and spirits forcing themselves into their former channels put me by a prickling or shooting into such intolerable pain that I could have wished those hanged who had cut me down."

There are other documented cases, too, of people in Britain surviving their hanging, including two women. In the USA, there have been unconfirmed reports of outlaws in the 18th Century surviving two attemps to hang them.



Hanging, drawing and quartering
:noose2:

Hanging, drawing and quartering is an extraordinarily cruel variation of hanging, in which the prisoner was hanged and then taken down before death. He was then eviscerated, his entrails and genitals burned, and the body cut into pieces. This practice was in use in Britain and France for people who committed treason (considered worse than rape or murder at the time) or regicide. Often the mutilated body parts were “gibbeted” – placed on display in public as a warning (gibbeting was outlawed in Britain as late as the 1840's). Famous people executed by this method include William Wallace and Guy Fawkes. For reasons of decency, women were never subjected to this punished, but “only” burned alive at the stake.


Lynching

:noose2:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9a/Lynching-of-lige-daniels.jpg

In the USA, lynching originally meant any kind of vigilante justice (for example tarring and feathering), but after the Civil War it became to be increasingly associated with hanging.

The best known lynching are of course those carried out the Ku-Klux-Klan in the aftermath of the American Civil war. While there may be some truth to PC historians’ claims that the KKK’s objective was to maintain White supremacy in the American south, the main motivation of the KKK was apparently to protect Southern Whites from marauding gangs of recently freed negroes.

It is estimated that approximately 100 negroes were lynched per year in the USA between 1880 and 1920.



Trivia:

:noose2:

* In Britain until 1808 it was an offense punishable by death byy hanging to spend a month or more in the company of gypsies.

* The most recent hanging in the Western hemisphere was as late as 1996, in Delaware, USA. Singapore and Japan still occasionally condemn criminals to be hanged.

* In 1993, Wesley Allan Dodd insisted that he wanted to be hanged instead of given a lethal injection – a right no-one had exercised before.


http://www.geocities.com/trctl11/dodd2.jpg

* The stories of “Angel lust” (death erection in hanging) are true and often the postmortem erection is permanent. It is caused by the flow of blood down into the legs and the pelvis, after the heart ceases beating. However the stories of hanged men having orgasms at the moment of death are not true.


"A hanging" (http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/888/) by George Orwell

Constantinus
Thursday, July 14th, 2005, 04:16 PM
Isaac “Hangin’ Judge” Parker


Another famous “hangman” (although he never acted as an executioner himself) and an ardent student of William Marwood’s theories was the American judge Isaac Parker (1838-1896).




In 21 years, Judge Parker sentenced 168 men and four women to be hanged in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Parker studied Marwood's work, and adopted his innovations into his own hangings. Parker’s hangman was a man of German descent by the name of George Maledon. Maledon was also a famous gunslinger, and he hunted down five men Parker had sentenced to be hanged but who had escaped, and shot them to death.

respect

DreamWalker
Friday, July 15th, 2005, 03:09 AM
http://www.texaslonghorn.com/parker/

DEATH WARRANT

United States of America
vs.
Jose Manuel Gonzales

Federal District Court
Indian Territory of
Arkansas, Oklahoma, & Texas



"Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, in a few months it will be Spring, the snow of Winter will flee away, the ice will vanish, and the air will become soft and balmy. In short, Jose Manuel Xavier Gonzales, the annual miracle of the year's awakening will come to pass, but you won't be here. The rivulet will run its purling course to the sea, the timid desert flowers will put forth their tender shoots, the glorious valleys of this imperial domain will blossom as the rose, still you won't be here. From every tree top some wildwood songster will carol his mating song, butterflies will sport in the sunshine, the busy bee will hum happily as it pursues its accustomed vocation, the gentle breezes will tease the tassels of wild grasses, and all nature, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, will be glad, but you won't be here to enjoy it; for I command the Sheriff or some officer or officers of this county to lead you out to some remote spot, swing you up by the neck to a nodding bough of some sturdy oak, and there let you hang till you are dead, dead, dead. And then, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, I command further that such officer or officers retire quietly from your swinging, dangling corpse, that the vultures may descend from the heavens upon your filthy body and pick the putrid flesh therefrom till nothing remain but the bare bleached bones of a cold-blooded, copper-colored, blood-thirsty, chili-eating, guilty sheep-herding son-of-a-bitch!"
ISSAC PARKER
District Judge
1883

Death and the Sun
Friday, July 15th, 2005, 10:53 AM
http://www.texaslonghorn.com/parker/

DEATH WARRANT

United States of America
vs.
Jose Manuel Gonzales

Federal District Court
Indian Territory of
Arkansas, Oklahoma, & Texas



"Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, in a few months it will be Spring, the snow of Winter will flee away, the ice will vanish, and the air will become soft and balmy. In short, Jose Manuel Xavier Gonzales, the annual miracle of the year's awakening will come to pass, but you won't be here. The rivulet will run its purling course to the sea, the timid desert flowers will put forth their tender shoots, the glorious valleys of this imperial domain will blossom as the rose, still you won't be here. From every tree top some wildwood songster will carol his mating song, butterflies will sport in the sunshine, the busy bee will hum happily as it pursues its accustomed vocation, the gentle breezes will tease the tassels of wild grasses, and all nature, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, will be glad, but you won't be here to enjoy it; for I command the Sheriff or some officer or officers of this county to lead you out to some remote spot, swing you up by the neck to a nodding bough of some sturdy oak, and there let you hang till you are dead, dead, dead. And then, Jose Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales, I command further that such officer or officers retire quietly from your swinging, dangling corpse, that the vultures may descend from the heavens upon your filthy body and pick the putrid flesh therefrom till nothing remain but the bare bleached bones of a cold-blooded, copper-colored, blood-thirsty, chili-eating, guilty sheep-herding son-of-a-bitch!"
ISSAC PARKER
District Judge
1883

:rotfl:



All hail Hangin' Judge Parker !!! :notworth:

Constantinus
Friday, July 15th, 2005, 11:08 AM
Best American ever.

Arcturus
Friday, July 15th, 2005, 02:16 PM
I would never advocate hanging.... :laugh:

DreamWalker
Friday, July 15th, 2005, 06:55 PM
:rotfl:

All hail Hangin' Judge Parker !!! :notworth:
Actually, there is some doubt about the historical facts of this because there is no record of this particular case, but supposedly the "poetic" style is typical of the judge. So this could be a composite of numerous cases.

Whatever, funny stuff:)