Decapitation by hanging?

Some information here: http://www.richard.clark32.btinternet.co.uk/hanging2.html
see the section on the long drop.

I don’t think neck weakness is solely dependent on weight/health status - I remember reading once about how most suicide bombers are decapitated by their own bombs The Israeli post-bomb cleanup person quoted said that their heads fly up ‘like corks’ when the bomb goes off, because the neck is so weak as compared with the rest of the body.

With regards suicide bombers, I was under the impression that the body was pulped and head and limbs sent flying elsewhere, simply because all the explosives are usually wrapped around the bomber’s body.

I don’t know much about Islam either, but I do know that the methods of execution do vary in Islamic countries. You can be executed by firing squad, hanging, decapitation via a sword, or a single shot to the head, depending on where you are at and possibly what your crime was. I’ve never heard of lethal injection being used in Islamic countries, but I am definately not an expert on the subject by any stretch of the imagination.

In Saddam’s case, the choice seemed to come down to firing squad or hanging. Saddam asked for a firing squad but didn’t get it. Apparently hanging is done for common criminals, and firing squads are reserved only for people who deserve more resepect like military officers. In a way, the fact that they chose to execute him by hanging was a bit of an insult, classifying him as just another common criminal and not worthy of a more respectful death.

The distinction between hanging as a “shameful” execution and the firing squad as more respectful has a long history. During the American revolution, Washington chose to have British spy John Andre hung instead of facing the firing squad. Although Andre was an officer in the British Army, Washington wanted to make the point that his spying warranted a less-than-honorable death.

Yes, it could, but that is probably minor in this case. For his weight, the recommended drop according to the British hanging table is about 5-1/2 feet, I think. And I think that I saw that the rope the Iraqis used was more like 8-1/2 feet. Given that much over-length in the rope, he could have been in the best of health, plus had a bull neck like the biggest of football defensive linemen, and it still wouldn’t have mattered – that rope was still going to pull the head right off.

I remember it being mentioned that in the film of the execution, you can see excess length of the rope coiled at his feet.

Here in Washington State Mitchell Rupe’s hanging was stopped due to his beingtoo fat :

Since then Washington has changed to lethal injection, and Rupe, whose sentence was changed to life imprisonment in 2000, died in prison of liver disease in February 2006.

Then he must have been very short. If the drop was 8.5 feet, the loose rope would only reach 4.25 down from his neck. To coil at his feet, he would have to be considerably less than 4 feet tall.

Here’s one place where I saw that: the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/16/world/middleeast/16hang.html?_r=1&em&ex=1169096400&en=5a3602a618664c51&ei=5070&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin