#1  
Old 03-16-2012, 09:28 AM
Spiff Spiff is offline
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How to conduct a hanging

In Is there an official U.S. manual on how to conduct a hanging?, Cecil wrote: "... official pamphlet number 27-4, Procedure for Military Executions, ... provides everything from rope specifications to instructions on what music to play before and after."

C'mon, Cecil, don't leave us ... er ... hanging.

What is (or was) the government-sanctioned pre- and post-execution music?

I'll bet it was a Spike Jones number, right?
  #2  
Old 03-16-2012, 09:36 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Intro: I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You, by Louis Armstrong.
Outro: Wish You Were Here, by Alice Cooper.
  #3  
Old 03-16-2012, 09:36 AM
Rico Rico is offline
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"Start spreading the noose, I'm hanging today..."
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:37 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Before: The escort will then proceed toward the scene of the execution, the band playing the "Dead March."

After: The escort, with the band playing a lively air, will return to their parade ground and be dismissed.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 03-16-2012 at 09:37 AM.
  #5  
Old 03-16-2012, 09:48 AM
Rico Rico is offline
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http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_L...e_dec-1947.pdf

Here you go. Apparently before the execution they are supposed to play the "Dead March" and afterwards, a "lively air."

Heh.

ETA: Damn you, Nemo!

Last edited by Rico; 03-16-2012 at 09:49 AM.
  #6  
Old 03-16-2012, 10:43 AM
CaptainMetHead CaptainMetHead is offline
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Is there an official U.S. manual on how to conduct a hanging?

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...duct-a-hanging

The official pamphet.
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_L...e_dec-1947.pdf
  #7  
Old 03-16-2012, 11:50 AM
tincan715 tincan715 is offline
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"...we’re one of the few remaining countries on earth where guidance on this subject is still in demand".

I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. Amnesty International says (http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/numbers) that 96 countries have abolished the death penalty, 58 still use have it, and 23 carried out executions in 2010. I wouldn't call 58 or even 23 "a few". Further, I suspect - but I am too lazy to do the research - that while only about a third of countries still use the death penalty many of those like China have very large populations. How many people live in a country that uses the death penalty?

I'm thinking there is still plenty of reason to have official execution manuals, although I'll acknowledge that ensuring executions are humane and aesthetic may not be a big priority everywhere.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:16 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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I think Uncle Cecil was referring to the use of hanging in particular, not the death penalty in general.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:49 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I think Uncle Cecil was referring to the use of hanging in particular, not the death penalty in general.
Agreed.

In the second paragraph, either the Alaska Justice Forum got the name wrong, or Cecil misquoted the magazine, but in any event it's the "U.S. Marshals Service."

http://www.usmarshals.gov/
  #10  
Old 03-16-2012, 12:52 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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See also this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=645404
  #11  
Old 03-16-2012, 12:53 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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See also this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=645392
  #12  
Old 03-16-2012, 01:36 PM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I think Uncle Cecil was referring to the use of hanging in particular, not the death penalty in general.
Nope, he was referring to methods of execution other than hanging:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil
However, although we didn’t look, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn there were federal manuals for other methods of execution, since we’re one of the few remaining countries on earth where guidance on this subject is still in demand.
ETA: I've got to say that the figure detailing how to tie a noose is one of the prettiest drawings I've ever seen in a government manual.

Last edited by muldoonthief; 03-16-2012 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:39 PM
Geedavey Geedavey is offline
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I'll say this: If I was ever condemned to death, i'd choose hanging. It's by far the fastest and most reliable way to go.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:04 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Originally Posted by Geedavey View Post
I'll say this: If I was ever condemned to death, i'd choose hanging. It's by far the fastest and most reliable way to go.
unlike the other methods it also includes a thrill ride.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:03 PM
MEBuckner MEBuckner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
After: The escort, with the band playing a lively air, will return to their parade ground and be dismissed.
Man, U.S. Government, that's cold.

"And then, not only will you be dead, but we'll all be happy about it! The band will play cheerful, upbeat music, the sun will be shining and the birds will be singing, and maybe there'll be a rainbow and a single shaft of golden sunlight will illuminate your lifeless, broken-necked body dangling from the gallows!"
  #16  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:36 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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MODERATOR NOTE: THere were two different threads on the same topic, so I've merged them. That perhaps causes a wee hiccough in the trouser-legs of the time-space continuum, but you'll deal with it.

NOTE AS POSTER (NOT AS MODERATOR): MEBuckner, you've missed the mark (rare for you!) Instead:
Quote:
Ko-Ko: ... When the day comes, there'll be a grand public ceremonial -- you'll be the central figure, no one will attempt to deprive you of that distinction. There'll be a procession -- bands -- dead march -- bells tolling -- all the girls in tears --... Then, when it's all over, general rejoicings and a display of fireworks in the evening. You won't see them, but they'll be there all the same.
  #17  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:56 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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If, as Cecil reports, hanging has been discontinued, what is the current official method of execution for military convicts under the sentence of death?
  #18  
Old 03-17-2012, 09:04 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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I always understood that hanging was very imprecise. So many people didn't end up with a broken neck and actually choked- and in some cases the hangman actually had tp grab the "victim" so his added weight did the job. (I have no cites for this).

Also, I understand that the stress of the job was immense. Either alcoholics were employed, or the hangmen ended up alcoholics.

For me it woud always be a lethal injection.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:22 AM
Flyer Flyer is offline
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Originally Posted by Geedavey View Post
I'll say this: If I was ever condemned to death, i'd choose hanging. It's by far the fastest and most reliable way to go.
Assuming proper training, a firing squad is actually the best way to go. I suspect that beheading is a fairly close second.
  #20  
Old 03-17-2012, 02:18 PM
Cheshire Human Cheshire Human is offline
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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Assuming proper training, a firing squad is actually the best way to go. I suspect that beheading is a fairly close second.
General anesthesia, as for surgery, followed by cutting off your oxygen after you're under.
  #21  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:18 PM
Lord Feldon Lord Feldon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
If, as Cecil reports, hanging has been discontinued, what is the current official method of execution for military convicts under the sentence of death?
Lethal injection (PDF):

Quote:
3–1. General
Military executions will be by lethal injection.
  #22  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:30 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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This might be of interest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital...tates_military

Eisenhower and then JFK approved the last actual execution of a U.S. serviceman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Bennett
  #23  
Old 03-19-2012, 02:45 PM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
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Charcoal burning would be my preferred method, probably combined with anaesthesia of some sort.
  #24  
Old 03-23-2012, 06:06 PM
eastcheap eastcheap is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Human View Post
General anesthesia, as for surgery, followed by cutting off your oxygen after you're under.
A few years ago, Michael Portillo looked into various methods for a Horizon documentary and settled on hypoxia using some more-or-less inert gas (most likely nitrogen) based on veterinary studies (and some time in a hypobaric chamber).

Interestingly, the notion wasn't all that well-received. The folks he spoke with at the end of the program felt it was too humane.
  #25  
Old 03-24-2012, 12:27 PM
2012mynach 2012mynach is offline
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For thoroughly gruesome details, go to http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/hanging2.html. Actually, after the introduction of the UK drop tables in the 19th century, if one must have capital punishment, then long-drop hanging seems much quicker (less than 20 seconds) than the protracted ritual of lethal injections
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