Executions & The Executioners Who Perform Them

bizkit_1979

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#31
I remember reading a Bizarre article a couple of years back comparing various death penalty methods- all of them were horrible, specially being stoned to death.
I think they concluded that injection, although not painless, was still the least nasty of the lot. However, now its been suggested, the exploding head sounds like the best way.
Thinking about it though, if the lethal injection is that horrible, what do vets use when they put animals down? I'd hate to think any of my rats had gone through anything even remotely like that :(. I thought they just 'sent you to sleep'.
 
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Anonymous

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#32
Don't they anaesthetise them first, then give them the lethal one? My last doggy had to get put down because of cancer in her pancreas. Sob story for you. See? I'm human too!
I like the det. chord idea...must see if stores have any spare...
 
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#33
A Strange Kind of Fame

The det cord method ought by rights be called by its proper name, the Waltimire. To Waltimire someone is to do this to them.
 

intaglio

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#34
I'm a bit puzzled. It always seems to me that American executions take a hell of a long time (I'm open to correction here) whereas the British were over in a flash - max 30 secs from cell to drop. There were disadvantages to the method but it did not draw out the proceedure to the lengths Hollywood shows. (please correct me)
 
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Anonymous

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#35
what about being shot?

Seems fairly romantic - makes you think of 'violetta' and all those french resistance people. I've heard it just feels like an attack of indigestion and then its all over. In the heart, obviously.

The thing about the injection also bothered me re. pets being put to sleep. I've had to have two cats put down (both aged 18 so pretty good innings) but they both seemed to go very peacefully - i'm sure they aren't distressed when they're put down.

I went to school with a girl whose dad was a vet and committed suicide with the animal-putting-down drugs (on a golf course if i rememebr rightly).
 

bizkit_1979

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#36
I read that being shot (especially when they miss the vital organs) isn't necessarily quick, and it burns like mad. My friend has watched a real-life execution vid, and said one bloke gets shot by six people at the same time, and they still don't kill him straightaway, and have to reload and to it again.
Surely the best way to execute someone is to put them under anaesthetic first, and then do whatever to them.
I guess that when you take an animal to the vet, they put them under first. My vets always assured me the rats weren't going to feel any pain.
Sorry if I'm helping this thread get hijacked, by the way. Have to admit I'm completely ignorant about hangings. :)
 
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Anonymous

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#40
bizkit_1979 said:
I read that being shot (especially when they miss the vital organs) isn't necessarily quick, and it burns like mad. My friend has watched a real-life execution vid, and said one bloke gets shot by six people at the same time, and they still don't kill him straightaway, and have to reload and to it again.
Depending on the calibre, you can stick a whole lot of rounds in a person without killing them. It's all about aim.
It hurts like sodding hell. Or so I'm told.
 
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#41
Paying the Det

Det or primer cord wrapped around the condemned's forehead.

It happens faster than the nerves can react to pain.

They're dead literally before they can know it.
 
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Anonymous

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#42
Texas death-row inmates last meals (some of these guys are better looked after than I am).

And.... the strongest argument against capital punishment, is the possible miscarriage of justice. There's a rather harrowing account on CNN today - did they get the right man? We may never know.

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Reuters) -- A 45-year-old condemned man, struggling and yelling "please God, help me," had to be carried into the execution chamber by six guards before being put to death Wednesday for the 1983 murder of an elderly woman, prison officials said.

Lewis Williams, Jr., was given a lethal injection at 10:15 a.m. ET at the prison in Lucasville, Ohio, for killing Leoma Chmielewski, 76.

"Please God, help me. God, please help. Please hear my cry," Williams shouted as he was strapped onto a gurney to receive the lethal injection, prison spokeswoman Andrea Dean said.

His mother, Bonnie Williams, witnessed her son's struggle and was taken out in a wheelchair afterward.

Throughout his two decades on death row, Williams claimed innocence, arguing prosecutors used trumped-up evidence and coerced witnesses, including testimony from two inmates who testified he confessed while in jail awaiting trial.

Witnesses testified Williams was at Chmielewski's home the night she was shot, and police found gunshot residue on his clothing and his shoe print on the hem of her dress. A trail of coins and the woman's empty pay envelopes were found nearby.

Williams had lived across the street from Chmielewski, who was known in her Cleveland neighborhood for holding several jobs to help support family members.

Williams claimed he had left the victim's house before she was killed.

In his appeals, Williams argued his defense attorneys were inept because they presented little evidence to persuade the jury that he deserved mercy because he had been abused and became a cocaine user by age 13.

His scheduled June 2002 execution was stayed by a judge to evaluate whether Williams was retarded, which would have commuted his death sentence. Experts hired by his attorneys determined he was not retarded and Williams fired his lawyers.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down his final appeal, which argued that execution by lethal injection amounted to cruel and unusual punishment and was therefore unconstitutional.

Several death row inmates have lodged appeals based on disputed evidence that the lethal cocktail of drugs immobilizes the condemned but does not spare suffering. A federal appeals court recently stayed the execution of a Virginia inmate on those grounds.

Williams was the ninth person executed in Ohio since 1999, when the state resumed executions after a 36-year hiatus. He was the fifth person to be executed this year in the United States, and the 890th since the nation resumed the death penalty in 1976.

For his final meal, Williams chose the prison's regular dinner of smoked sausage, rice, black-eyed peas, collard greens and vanilla pudding.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/01/14/execution.ohio.reut/index.html
 

WhistlingJack

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#43
Chatty need not apply for hangman job

Thu Jun 1, 2006 3:26 AM BST

By Catherine Hornby


LONDON (Reuters) - It was not a job everyone wanted but British officials strived to uphold high standards when filling the post of hangman.

They rejected applicants in 1938 including the chatty, the morally dubious and the morbid to keep executions dignified, documents released on Thursday by Britain's National Archives showed.

The need for an alert, swift mind and healthy body also provoked concern among prison officials as to whether one of Britain's longest serving hangmen, Thomas Pierrepoint, was still up to the job after reaching his 70s in 1940.

Pierrepoint, who came from the best-known family of hangmen, served for 37 years and executed more than 300 men and women.

The documents show prison governors and medical officers were asked to observe him after a complaint from one prison in 1940 that Pierrepoint no longer seemed to be fit for duty.

"In Dr Landers' opinion Pierrepoint was getting past his job; he was uncertain and it was doubtful whether his sight was good," the governor of Wandsworth prison wrote in December 1940.

However, most subsequent reports mentioned only minor concerns and Pierrepoint was kept on due to shortages during World War Two.

"Owing to wartime difficulties of replacements and favourable reports from other prisons, the Commissioners are inclined to allow Mr Pierrepoint to continue to act," the prison commission concluded in July 1943. But it noted that "particular attention should be paid to his technique".

The records of applications for a post of executioner in 1938 show the commission was not impressed by some candidates.

"He appears to have a somewhat morbid interest in the work, aroused through having a friend who carried out many executions in Arabia," Brixton police said of one failed applicant.

Another candidate, Daniel Clifford of Fulham, was rejected when an assistant executioner warned the prison commission he was too talkative when drunk.

"He lets his tongue run away from him when in drink and as I know him he is not to be trusted with any business concerning the above duties," he wrote.

One hopeful was turned down for appearing "nerve-strained" while butcher Arthur Clifford Gill was unsuccessful after being described as "a man of loose morals".

The search for executioners came to an end in 1964, when Britain abolished the death penalty.

© Reuters 2006
 

Stormkhan

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#44
Re: Paying the Det

FraterLibre said:
Det or primer cord wrapped around the condemned's forehead.

It happens faster than the nerves can react to pain.

They're dead literally before they can know it.
While nice, in theory, incredibly difficult to gain recommendations from victims. I mean, it sounds pretty slick but until you've suffered it, how can you tell? And how can you tell unless you've suffered it?
So, a method of execution is "proved" painless ... but no actual evidence to this convenient and conscience-salving method. I mean, as long as everyone can say "They didn't feel a thing!", it's acceptable?

If you're going to legally kill someone, stop trying to dress it up as humane or morally righteous. Bullet in the eyeball, messy but efficient.
 

MetroGnome

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#45
(Transplanted from the PC Gone Mad thread; in reference to gender-specific job or profession labels)

If, however, the connotations of the term are negative, they have no problems with their usage whatsoever: Have you ever heard them insist on referring to a "hangperson" or a "gunperson"?
Yeah, but in fairness, how often do we run into female gunpersons or hangpersons. Women don't have the guts for it... {Runs and hides} :)
 
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EnolaGaia

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#47
Yeah, but in fairness, how often do we run into female gunpersons or hangpersons. ...
Since you asked ... (NOTE: No warranties, express or implied ... :btime: )

Irish hang-women
Richard Clark in his remarkable Capital Punishment in Britain has a story that has been buzzing around and around in Beachcombing’s head for the last six months. In his chapter on hang-men RC notes, in a final short section, that ‘Ireland allowed women to be involved with executions and two were’. ...
http://www.strangehistory.net/2011/01/17/irish-hang-women/


Lady Betty, The Merciless Hangwoman of Roscommon
Lady Betty was a notoriously cruel and fearful public executioner born around 1750, who according to Sir William Wilde (father of Oscar Wilde) drew on the walls of her dwelling with a burnt stick, 'portraits of all the persons she executed.' ...
http://irishwomenshistory.blogspot.com/2014/12/lady-betty-merciless-hangwoman-of.html


'Huda the executioner' - Libya's devil in female form
.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...-executioner-Libyas-devil-in-female-form.html


10 UNBELIEVABLE WOMEN EXECUTIONERS THROUGHOUT HISTORY
For many of us, it is hard to believe that any woman has ever been an executioner. It seems that throughout history, the role of executioner has always been taken by a man. Research shows that this is far from accurate. Women have always taken a role in the execution of people, from ancient history to the present day.
https://strangeago.com/2017/07/26/10-unbelievable-women-executioners-throughout-history/

And finally - an upbeat story of a hangwoman-wannabe, or an upbeat woman who wants to be an executioner, or whatever ...

MalaysianHangwoman-AnitaChuan-FINISHED.jpg
SOURCE: http://www.geocities.ws/novel_imager/real_executioners.html
 

EnolaGaia

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#50
This is a fascinating account of an executioner's lot in the Middle Ages. I wasn't aware of the social aspects of holding this job - e.g., the fact the job was most often assigned rather than sought; the role was passed down through families because they were stuck with it; and the difficulties in freeing oneself and one's descendants from the profession.

I also wasn't aware of the common connection between serving as executioner and serving as a physician. It makes a certain amount of sense, given that both jobs entailed a working knowledge of human anatomy and physiology.

What Was It Like to Be an Executioner in the Middle Ages?

Forget the image of the hooded executioner swinging an ax; much of what we think we know about these medieval figures isn't true.

One afternoon in May 1573, a 19-year-old man named Frantz Schmidt stood in the backyard of his father's house in the German state of Bavaria, preparing to behead a stray dog with a sword. He'd recently graduated from "decapitating" inanimate pumpkins to practicing on live animals. If he passed this final stage, Schmidt would be considered ready to start his job, as an executioner of people.

We know the details of this morbid scene because Schmidt meticulously chronicled his life as an executioner, writing a series of diaries that painted a rich picture of this profession during the sixteenth century. His words provided a rare glimpse of the humanity behind the violence, revealing a man who took his work seriously and often felt empathy for his victims. But what's more, Schmidt wasn't necessarily all that unusual; historical anecdotes reveal that the prevailing stereotype of the hooded, blood-spattered, brutish executioner falls far short of the truth.

So then, what was it like to do this work hundreds of years ago in Europe? And how did "executioner" become a legitimate job title in the first place? ...

"What's common to all [countries in Europe at the time] is that they're all trying to have better criminal law enforcement," said Joel Harrington, a historian at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the author of "The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century" (Picador, 2013), a book about Schmidt's life.

The problem was that things were "a little like the American Wild West, in that most criminals got away," Harrington told Live Science. "So when they did catch them, they really liked to make a good example and have a public spectacle" — hence the need for public executioners to carry out that work.

But people weren't exactly lining up for the job of hanging, beheading or burning criminals at the stake; most people understandably saw this as undesirable work. In fact, those who ultimately became executioners didn't choose the job for themselves. Instead, it was bestowed upon them.
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/medieval-executioner-life.html
 

GerdaWordyer

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#51
Executions shouldn't happen. But they do, and I don't understand why massive but gradual overdoses of heroin or morphine aren't used. I've never heard of doses of those drugs as being unpleasant. Isn't morphine the choice of advocates for euthanasia of terminal patients in pain?
 

Mythopoeika

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#52
Executions shouldn't happen. But they do, and I don't understand why massive but gradual overdoses of heroin or morphine aren't used. I've never heard of doses of those drugs as being unpleasant. Isn't morphine the choice of advocates for euthanasia of terminal patients in pain?
There are other ways, too. Pumping a sealed chamber full of nitrogen or helium would cause the criminal to lose consciousness and then die fairly quickly and without feeling pain.
I suspect the way that they currently do it is partly to deliberately foster an atmosphere of terror.
 

Krepostnoi

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#53
I suspect the way that they currently do it is partly to deliberately foster an atmosphere of terror.
I think you're onto something, there. I can imagine the hanging's-too-good-for-them brigade would be outraged at the thought of executing someone painlessly.

Perhaps we could alleviate this somewhat by asking the executee to deliver their last words after they have got a good mouthful of the helium.
 

Mythopoeika

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#54
I think you're onto something, there. I can imagine the hanging's-too-good-for-them brigade would be outraged at the thought of executing someone painlessly.

Perhaps we could alleviate this somewhat by asking the executee to deliver their last words after they have got a good mouthful of the helium.
Thinking about it again, I reckon it would be a waste of good helium, which is already in short supply. Nitrogen should suffice.
 
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