Re: Guest Post - Won't you come to the hanging with me?

1

I think that if people are going to be executed, it should be with a bullet point blank to the temple. Simple, instant, painless. Also, the judge who signs the death warrant should pull the trigger.

If doing things this way means one gets executed, ever...oh well!.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 5:49 AM
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For Heebie, although likely to prove unsatisfactory for her.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:05 AM
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From 2, no actually this is what I was claiming no one had yet produced.

In Missouri in 1992 a church counselor helped Beth Rutherford to remember during therapy that her father, a clergyman, had regularly raped her between the ages of seven and 14 and that her mother sometimes helped him by holding her down. Under her therapist's guidance, Rutherford developed memories of her father twice impregnating her and forcing her to abort the fetus herself with a coat hanger.

Oh well! Back to hangings.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:12 AM
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To my Lord's in the morning, where I met with Captain Cuttance, but my Lord not being up I went out to Charing Cross, to see Major-general Harrison hanged, drawn, and quartered; which was done there, he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition. He was presently cut down, and his head and heart shown to the people, at which there was great shouts of joy. It is said, that he said that he was sure to come shortly at the right hand of Christ to judge them that now had judged him; and that his wife do expect his coming again.
Thus it was my chance to see the King beheaded at White Hall, and to see the first blood shed in revenge for the blood of the King at Charing Cross. From thence to my Lord's, and took Captain Cuttance and Mr. Sheply to the Sun Tavern, and did give them some oysters. After that I went by water home, where I was angry with my wife for her things lying about, and in my passion kicked the little fine basket, which I bought her in Holland, and broke it, which troubled me after I had done it.
Within all the afternoon setting up shelves in my study. At night to bed.

Posted by: Samuel Pepys | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:25 AM
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It's the abusive domestic fit of pique that actually stands out in that entry.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 6:56 AM
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Pepys is going to go on a drive-by drawing and quartering spree.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:13 AM
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1: There are two temples, so one bullet on each side would be more certain.

Also, I think if you required the judge to do the deed, the main effect would be the creation of a very much more pro-execution judiciary than we have now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:19 AM
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it should be with a bullet point blank to the temple brain stem.

More certain, more painless. As recommended by the KGB.

Or perhaps just not kill people.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:27 AM
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At least looking from outside, firing squads and (properly done) hanging generally appear to kill pretty instantaneously, right? We didn't move to gas chambers and electric chairs out of a desire to be more humane, I thought; maybe the idea that they were the cool modern thing. Being humane was the idea behind lethal injections, of course, but it's all cocked up now. So if I were okay with execution at all, I would be open to shooting/hanging.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:31 AM
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Shooting and hanging could be combined. The shooters would be given a target to aim at that marks where the heart will be after the drop.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:35 AM
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Yeah bullet to the temple is really not the way to go, unless "death by a lifetime of crippling neurological issues" is what you're aiming for.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:40 AM
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I think a gas chamber filled with N2 is a good one. Not very hard to make a chamber, and the N2 is easily available at great purity and low cost.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 7:55 AM
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I thought the electric chair was meant to be more humane, because American states that hanged people didn't adopt measured, long drop hanging until incredibly late in some instances, so electrocution was intended to be better than strangling for 20 minutes. The original "humane method" was of course Madame Guillotine.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:00 AM
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So the consensus is against the Rube-Goldberg execution machine, it sounds like.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:05 AM
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12: Nitrogen asphyxia is my preferred way to go. Apparently it's quite painless. It's low-tech and trivial to administer, so even the bloodthirsty goons who currently carry out executions could pull it off.

I'm a little torn on the whole death penalty thing. On the one hand there's all the very good arguments against it, but on the other there's Eichmann and the like, who I'd very much like to see hang.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:08 AM
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Botch rates 1900-2010 (%):
Lethal injection 7.1
Lethal gassing 5.4
Hanging 3.1
Electrocution 1.9
Firing squad 0
(Except I think the linked Guardian article has an example of a botched firing squad.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:10 AM
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And if you have a tank of liquid nitrogen to fill the chamber you can use the extra to make ice cream for all the witnesses (a store recently opened here that makes frozen-on-demand ice cream)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:20 AM
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13: Interesting.

12/15: Wikipedia says CO was used occasionally in gas chambers - wouldn't that be pretty similar?

I know this logic often doesn't work, but I keep thinking, "if inert gases are so painless, why didn't anyone try it over the period where gas chambers were being challenged in court?" One possible answer I found online is that with gas chambers, the condemned know the gas is coming, so some will reflexively try not to breathe in, and that will cause problems regardless of how painlessly the gas kills in accidental circumstances.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:21 AM
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In the military botched firing squads were almost routine, which was why the commanding officer carried a loaded revolver to finish the job in necessary.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:24 AM
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CO would presumably be even more effective.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:25 AM
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Hydrogen, and let the condemned man have a last cigarette?


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:33 AM
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Helium, and broadcast his last words as a final degradation?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:39 AM
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Can you die by whippets? Other than accidentally freezing your lungs, that is. Freezing your lungs sounds unpleasant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:46 AM
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We had whippets growing up. Half-whippets, half-terriers, actually. Scrawny matted rats, essentially.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:51 AM
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For a second I thought that SP was proposing death by flash-freezing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:56 AM
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You never know when you'll need to execute a T2000.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:58 AM
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VEILLEICHT SAGST DU, ICH BIN EIN TRÄUMER! BIN DOCH NICHT DER EINZIGE! MEINE HOFFNUNG: EINES TAGES VERBINDEST DU MIT UNS! DANN KANN DIE LEUTE DER WELT ZUSAMMEN ALS EINER LEBEN!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 8:59 AM
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24: I meant NO.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:10 AM
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28: And we will all have to respect that.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:16 AM
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So, nitrogen vs CO vs NO. Nitrogen is probably best for operator safety. The way it works is that if you bring in a container of liquid nitrogen and then, say, dump it out, it will expand to push all the other ambient gas out of the room. The surrounding areas are usually not really affected since nitrogen isn't toxic on its own. Oxygen levels drop below 19.5%, anyone in the room suffocates. CO works by replacing oxygen in blood by coordinating heme, so you need relatively little CO to kill someone compared to nitrogen, but CO is dangerous to everyone in the area. You would need to be careful about CO storage (OSHA regulates it) and venting. Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule, so I assume it could kill by blocking heme like CO, throwing signaling off utterly (a big effect is vasodilation), or by suffocation if it's replacing oxygen in the room.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:24 AM
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29 is funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:27 AM
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I can't figure out what 27 is to and for some reason that makes it funnier.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:42 AM
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29 also made me laugh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:42 AM
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It's not "to" anything.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:45 AM
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Prior research on NO.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:49 AM
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Incidentally, Japan has some pretty awful ways of doing capital punishment. Apparently there is no advance notice of when the execution will happen. It's announced in the morning on the day they're going to do it.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 9:52 AM
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I'm not sure if it had any nationwide impact, but I recall reading how Eva Dugan's grisly decapitation when she was hanged spurred action in Arizona.

A convicted murderess, 52-year-old Eva Dugan, was hanged at 5:02 a.m. Feb. 21, 1930, in Arizona State Prison's death house. It was the beginning of the end for the scaffold in Arizona. For when Mrs. Dugan plunged through the trap door and hit the end of the rope with a bouncing jolt, her head snapped off and rolled into a corner. There was an immediate, horrified widespread demand that a more humane means of execution such as a new gas chamber - be substituted for the unreliable gallows.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:04 AM
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That seems like a confusion between the execution being gross and being inhumane. Doesn't sound like Mrs. Dugan suffered much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:06 AM
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Speaking of gross, I feel sorry for the guy with the worst ever camping story in the link at 37.

Nine months later, a tourist camping overnight at the Mathis ranch uncovered a shallow grave while trying to set a tent post.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:09 AM
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"If it wasn't for you meddling campers, I would have gotten away with it."


Posted by: Opinionated Eva Dugan | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:10 AM
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38: My thinking as well. Something about it being a woman--I blame the patriarchy.

And I'm not sure what "unreliable"means in the ast sentence, either.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:14 AM
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Yeah bullet to the temple is really not the way to go, unless "death by a lifetime of crippling neurological issues" is what you're aiming for.

I'm finally watching "Band of Brothers", and in looking up people from it on Wikipedia I see that the guy played by David Schwimmer in the first episode shot himself in the temple in the late '60s. It didn't kill him but did leave him blind.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:17 AM
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Helium, and broadcast his last words as a final degradation?

This seems relevant.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:20 AM
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How about big industrial stamping machines. Squish.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:46 AM
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If you want to get creative, have people swallow a bunch of iron pellets and then put them in a big MRI.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 11:47 AM
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When a nasty and final diagnosis eventually comes down I'm going with helium from the party store and leave some cogent but Donald Ducky commentary on a YouTube video. Using a gun means my kids lose the security deposit on the apartment.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 12:04 PM
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If everybody uses the helium for parties and euthanasia, there won't be enough of it to run the superconducting magnets in MRI machines. Congress really needs to stop giving that shit away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 12:14 PM
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46: What ever happened to dying peacefully in one's sleep?

47: Not to mention the Zeppelins and dilution refrigerators.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:15 PM
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I plan on dying peacefully in your sleep. It will resemble outtakes from the movie The Cell.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:18 PM
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49: No. I don't want to be responsible for having murdered you in my sleep. Maybe you just need to find the right commenter to help you with that?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:27 PM
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The knowledge around when I was a kid, for slaughtering big meat animals, was that you connected the eyes and ears with imaginary lines, found the point 4" towards the tail along the dorsal midline from the lines' intersection, and shot normal to the skull. On my head that seems to run from where my fontanelle was towards my brain stem. Okay.

I'm basically against the death penalty, but if we have to, why not overdose them massively on recreational CNS depressants? I do not want the state to torture even when it decides that we kill.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:30 PM
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It's a general you. One night, some lucky commenter is going to discover my corpse in their dreams.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:40 PM
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52: I wouldn't pick teraz either for this purpose (see 44).


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:43 PM
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46: I'm kind of hoping to acquire enough heroin to nod out, come the dark day, but I'm laying down a tarp to do it on. Of course, the family joke -- after being saved much sorrow by hospice services -- is that assisted suicide will be legal by the time my mother needs it and mandatory by the time I do.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:52 PM
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47: Supposedly they are, but slowly.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:07 PM
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48: ". . . . dying peacefully in one's sleep?"

Seriously? There's often a great deal of pressure to ¡DO SOMETHING! From what I've seen, that mostly comes from children for their own benefit and from docs who just can't accept defeat. My mother resisted insane procedures suggested for her mother from about the time she hit 90 to her death at 101. Then Mom resisted them (with our acceptance) for herself in turn. I'm hoping the familial resistance movement continues.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:09 PM
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Ok, bullet to the brainstem, then.

The point is that trying to cover up the fundamental barbarity of the death penalty, and then trying to mix that cover up with concerns about being humane, is a disgusting lie. The way to make this painless is to admit that you are doing something horrible.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 4:49 AM
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The guy who Pepys thought looked as cheerful as any man could in that condition was Thomas Harrison, cavalry commander and Leveller sympathiser: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Harrison_%28soldier%29


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:17 AM
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He is the very model of an early-modern Major General. He executes the kings of England and fought the fights historical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:23 AM
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re: 58

Dsquared needs to start a new series, 'Bad-ass lives of Wikipedia'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:25 AM
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Harrison's career does have that "would be a dissident in any circumstances whatsoever" feel. In heaven he'd be organising a protest against the guest list.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 5:35 AM
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Relevant: the very good film "Pierrepoint" with Timothy Spall as Britain's last hangman. A consummate professional.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:21 AM
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Relevant: the very good film "Pierrepoint" with Timothy Spall as Britain's last hangman. A consummate professional.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 1:21 AM
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Never had to post hang anybody twice.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 2:00 AM
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