ANSWERS: 9
  • I thought not, but see other answers.
  • Yes, there are some documented instances of it happening in the "old west" when too much weight was used. (ties to the ankles on lighter people to ensure the neck broke).
  • Yes, This occurs if the weight of the prisoner and the drop are too great. The US used to use a fixed 8 foot drop and with a heavy prisoner decapitation was very likely and did occur. One US prisoner last words were 'let it rip' moments before he fell to his death and his decapitation. British executioners used a drop which varied and was based on the prisoners weight and height thus in the UK prior to the abolition of the death penalty decapitation seldom occured.
  • It's possible, but illegal. If the criminal is so heavy that decapitation would occur, it would be considered cruel and unusual punishment, and would have to be changed to lethal injection or some other form of termination.
  • It has happened before, and again recently. After Saddam was hanged his henchmen were next. One of them was decapitated. But sometimes the executioners miscalculate the ratio of the height of the drop against the body weight of the condemned, and therefore excessive force exerts a pull so great to the neck region that the head is decapitated, like being hung with piano strings.
  • Tom (Black Jack) Ketchum, Clayton, NM, 4/26/1901
    • Thinker
      I have been there myself. Information about him is at a museum in Folsom, NM.
  • C'mon, Jervinator, you'd have to make him walk the plank off the Sears Tower and even then I doubt it would work.
  • I have heard that poorly trained hangmen in the wild west would use soap on the noose, which beheaded the person.
  • It has happened, numerous times. On balance, though, it's rare.

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