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Gabriel Gomez
Gabriel Gomez

Hanging BEST

Hanging is killing a person by suspending them from the neck with a noose or ligature. Hanging has been a common method of capital punishment since the Middle Ages, and is the primary execution method in numerous countries and regions. The first known account of execution by hanging is in Homer's Odyssey.[1] Hanging is also a method of suicide.


The short drop is a method of hanging in which the condemned prisoner stands on a raised support such as a stool, ladder, cart, or other vehicle, with the noose around the neck. The support is then moved away, leaving the person dangling from the rope.[2][3]

Before 1850, the short drop was the standard method of hanging, and it is still common in suicides and extrajudicial hangings (such as lynchings and summary executions) which do not benefit from the specialised equipment and drop-length calculation tables used in the newer methods.

Prior to 1892, the drop was between four and 10 feet (about one to three metres), depending on the weight of the body, and was calculated to deliver an energy of 1,260 foot-pounds force (1,710 J), which fractured the neck at either the 2nd and 3rd or 4th and 5th cervical vertebrae. This force resulted in some decapitations, such as the infamous case of Black Jack Ketchum in New Mexico Territory in 1901, owing to a significant weight gain while in custody not having been factored into the drop calculations. Between 1892 and 1913, the length of the drop was shortened to avoid decapitation. After 1913, other factors were also taken into account, and the energy delivered was reduced to about 1,000 foot-pounds force (1,400 J). The decapitation of Eva Dugan during a botched hanging in 1930 led the state of Arizona to switch to the gas chamber as its primary execution method, on the grounds that it was believed more humane.[12] One of the more recent decapitations as a result of the long drop occurred when Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti was hanged in Iraq in 2007.[13] Accidental decapitation also occurred during the 1962 hanging of Arthur Lucas, one of the last two individuals to be put to death in Canada.[14]

Nazis executed under British jurisdiction, including Josef Kramer, Fritz Klein, Irma Grese and Elisabeth Volkenrath, were hanged by Albert Pierrepoint using the variable-drop method devised by Marwood. The record speed for a British long-drop hanging was seven seconds from the executioner entering the cell to the drop. Speed was considered to be important in the British system as it reduced the condemned's mental distress.[15]

Hanging is a common suicide method. The materials necessary for suicide by hanging are readily available to the average person, compared with firearms or poisons. Full suspension is not required, and for this reason, hanging is especially commonplace among suicidal prisoners (see suicide watch). A type of hanging comparable to full suspension hanging may be obtained by self-strangulation using a ligature around the neck and the partial weight of the body (partial suspension) to tighten the ligature. When a suicidal hanging involves partial suspension the deceased is found to have both feet touching the ground, e.g., they are kneeling, crouching or standing. Partial suspension or partial weight-bearing on the ligature is sometimes used, particularly in prisons, mental hospitals or other institutions, where full suspension support is difficult to devise, because high ligature points (e.g., hooks or pipes) have been removed.[16]

In Canada, hanging is the most common method of suicide,[17] and in the U.S., hanging is the second most common method, after self-inflicted gunshot wounds.[18] In the United Kingdom, where firearms are less easily available, in 2001 hanging was the most common method among men and the second most commonplace among women (after poisoning).[19]

Those who survive a suicide-via-hanging attempt, whether due to breakage of the cord or ligature point, or being discovered and cut down, face a range of serious injuries, including cerebral anoxia (which can lead to permanent brain damage), laryngeal fracture, cervical spine fracture (which may cause paralysis), tracheal fracture, pharyngeal laceration, and carotid artery injury.[20]

There are some suggestions that the Vikings practiced hanging as human sacrifices to Odin, to honour Odin's own sacrifice of hanging himself from Yggdrasil.[21] In Northern Europe, it is widely speculated that the Iron Age bog bodies, many who show signs of having been hanged were examples of human sacrifice to the gods.[22]

The cause of death in hanging depends on the conditions related to the event. When the body is released from a relatively high position, the major cause of death is severe trauma to the upper cervical spine. The injuries produced are highly variable. One study showed that only a small minority of a series of judicial hangings produced fractures to the cervical spine (6 out of 34 cases studied), with half of these fractures (3 out of 34) being the classic "hangman's fracture" (bilateral fractures of the pars interarticularis of the C2 vertebra).[23] The location of the knot of the hanging rope is a major factor in determining the mechanics of cervical spine injury, with a submental knot (hangman's knot under the chin) being the only location capable of producing the sudden, straightforward hyperextension injury that causes the classic "hangman's fracture".

According to Historical and biomechanical aspects of hangman's fracture, the phrase in the usual execution order, "hanged by the neck until dead", was necessary.[1] By the late 19th century that methodical study enabled authorities to routinely employ hanging in ways that would predictably kill the victim quickly.

Compromise of the cerebral blood flow may occur by obstruction of the carotid arteries, even though their obstruction requires far more force than the obstruction of jugular veins, since they are seated deeper and they contain blood in much higher pressure compared to the jugular veins. Where death has occurred through carotid artery obstruction or cervical fracture, the face will typically be pale in colour and not show petechiae. Many reports and pictures exist of actual short-drop hangings that seem to show that the person died quickly, while others indicate a slow and agonising death by strangulation.[25]

When cerebral circulation is severely compromised by any mechanism, arterial or venous, death occurs over four or more minutes from cerebral hypoxia, although the heart may continue to beat for some period after the brain can no longer be resuscitated. The time of death in such cases is a matter of convention. In judicial hangings, death is pronounced at cardiac arrest, which may occur at times from several minutes up to 15 minutes or longer after hanging. During suspension, once the prisoner has lapsed into unconsciousness, rippling movements of the body and limbs may occur for some time which are usually attributed to nervous and muscular reflexes. In Britain, it was normal to leave the body suspended for an hour to ensure death.[citation needed]

After death, the body typically shows marks of suspension: bruising and rope marks on the neck. Sphincters will relax spontaneously and urine and faeces will be evacuated. Forensic experts may often be able to tell if hanging is suicide or homicide, as each leaves a distinctive ligature mark. One of the hints they use is the hyoid bone. If broken, it often means the person has been murdered by manual strangulation.[citation needed]

Hanging has been a method of capital punishment in many countries, and is still used by many countries to this day. Long-drop hanging is mainly used by former British colonies, while short-drop and suspension hanging is common in Iran.

Capital punishment was a part of the legal system of Australia from the establishment of New South Wales as a British penal colony, until 1985, by which time all Australian states and territories had abolished the death penalty;[26] in practice, the last execution in Australia was the hanging of Ronald Ryan on 3 February 1967, in Victoria.[27]

Death by hanging was the customary method of capital punishment in Brazil throughout its history. Some important national heroes like Tiradentes (1792) were killed by hanging. The last man executed in Brazil was the slave Francisco, in 1876. The death penalty was abolished for all crimes, except for those committed under extraordinary circumstances such as war or military law, in 1890.[28]

Bulgaria's national hero, Vasil Levski, was executed by hanging by the Ottoman court in Sofia in 1873. Every year since Bulgaria's liberation, thousands come with flowers on the date of his death, 19 February, to his monument where the gallows stood. The last execution was in 1989, and the death penalty was abolished for all crimes in 1998.[28]

Historically, hanging was the only method of execution used in Canada and was in use as possible punishment for all murders until 1961, when murders were reclassified into capital and non-capital offences. The death penalty was restricted to apply only for certain offences to the National Defence Act in 1976 and was completely abolished in 1998.[29] The last hangings in Canada took place on 11 December 1962.[28]

In 1955, Egypt hanged three Israelis on charges of spying.[30] In 1982 Egypt hanged three civilians convicted of the assassination of Anwar Sadat.[31] In 2004, Egypt hanged five militants on charges of trying to kill the Prime Minister.[32] To this day, hanging remains the standard method of capital punishment in Egypt, which executes more people each year than any other African country.

In the territories occupied by Nazi Germany from 1939 to 1945, strangulation hanging was a preferred means of public execution, although more criminal executions were performed by guillotine than hanging. The most commonly sentenced were partisans and black marketeers, whose bodies were usually left hanging for long periods. There are also numerous reports of concentration camp inmates being hanged. Hanging was continued in post-war Germany in the British and US Occupation Zones under their jurisdiction, and for Nazi war criminals, until well after (western) Germany itself had abolished the death penalty by the German constitution as adopted in 1949. West Berlin was not subject to the Grundgesetz (Basic Law) and abolished the death penalty in 1951. The German Democratic Republic abolished the death penalty in 1987. The last execution ordered by a West German court was carried out by guillotine in Moabit prison in 1949. The last hanging in Germany was the one ordered of several war criminals in Landsberg am Lech on 7 June 1951. The last known execution in East Germany was in 1981 by a pistol shot to the neck.[26] 041b061a72


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