Death by Hanging

By | Aug 14, 2009

Hangings as a form of capital punishment by suspension of a person by a cord wrapped around the neck causing death, first occurred in the Persian Empire about 2500 years ago.

There are 4 methods of judicial hanging.
1) The short drop, placing the condemned on the back of a cart, horse or other vehicle and have the vehicle moved away leaving the condemned hanging. This was commonly used prior to 1850.
2) Suspension drop, where the noose is raised once the condemned is in place.
3) Standard drop, the condemned is dropped 4 to 6 feet.
4) Long Drop, similar to the standard drop only the drop is determined by the condemned weigh.

In the United States only the states of Washington and New Hampshire retain hanging as an option. The state of Delaware still allow hangings to those convicted prior to 1996 and sentenced to hang and those are allowed a choice of hanging or lethal injection.

The last public hanging in the United States was of Rainey Bethea, a black 26 year old male who confessed to the rape and murder of a 70 year old white woman, was hanged on August 14, 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The last US hanging was on January 25, 1996 when Delaware hanged Billy Bailey, who was convicted of murder.

On the day after Christmas 1862, 38 Dakota Sioux were simultaneously hanged. These men were convicted of murder and rape in the Sioux uprising. This is the largest single execution in the United States.

Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, was executed by hanging after being sentence to death for crimes against humanity. His trial was performed by The Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, a special court established outside the normal Iraqi judicial system. It had one purpose to bring Saddam Hussein and members of his former regime to justice.


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