What are some little known facts about state executions?

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Mudassir Ali 8 months 1 Answer 107 views

Answer ( 1 )

  1. The stereotypical “last meal” on death row may be on the way to becoming historical. Texas has outlawed the practice since 2011.
    There is no legal rubric to let you go, or even let you breathe, if something goes wrong. The key is the “until dead” part of the legal sentence (as in, “hang by your neck until dead.” ) If something fails and you’re breathing, the voltage will be cycled again, the injection needle inserted in another limb or your neck, or your head and body re-noosed and dropped (before hanging became obsolete.)
    Organ donation is mostly impossible in state execution. The chair cooks the body organs; lethal gas and (edit: some forms of) lethal injection poison them; shooting results in bullet holes. Hanging injures only the neck but is obsolete in the USA. (Gary Gilmore, shot in 1977, did donate his eyes, however.) In other countries, e.g. China, which executes by headshot, organs are reportedly harvested.
    The last legal beheading by the guillotine occurred in France in 1977 — AFTER the first Star Wars picture was released.
    Speaking of the guillotine, it has been used once in North America — on a French island near Newfoundland in the 1800s. Machine and headsman were sailed in from France for the occasion. It has never been legislated for use in our states; but beheading was part of Utah Territory’s law code until 1888.
    Several common English expressions have their origins in capital punishment. “Toeing the line” originally meant placing your toes on the center of the gallows trapdoor. A “gala” was originally “gallows-day,” which around 300 years ago, was a street festivity. “Pulling someone’s leg” reportedly came from early forms of hanging, when the victim’s ankles were pulled on to speed their choking.

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