Monday, October 23, 2017

Death Penalty: Time is Everything

I found the straight skinny on the efficacy of various death penalty methods, although several methods are not covered. Being boiled in oil, for instance, is not even given honorable mention although there was a time when it was used often enough.  Here is a list of methods and the time it takes the prisoner to expire, courtesy of NBC.

Firing Squad to Gas Chamber: How Long Do Executions Take? (Mar 25 2015)

Guillotine: Less than a minute
A doctor’s 1905 account of a French execution, however, asserted that the prisoner’s eyes opened in response to his name for nearly 30 seconds after the blade came down.

Firing squad: Less than a minute
A 1938 execution in which doctors attached a monitor to the inmate showed that the heart’s electrical activity stopped within 30 seconds, with brain death following soon after.

Electric chair: 2 minutes to 15-plus minutes
In Indiana in 1985, it took 17 minutes — and five cycles of current — to kill William Vandiver. In 1946, Louisiana teenager Willie Francis survived his first electrocution only to be put to death a year later.

Hanging: 4 to 11 minutes
Delaware double murderer Billy Bailey chose the gallows over lethal injection in 1996 and was pronounced dead 11 minutes after he plunged through a trapdoor with a noose around his neck. Westley Dodd was confirmed dead four minutes after his hanging in Washington state in 1993, and Charles Campbell’s heart stopped six minutes after his 1994 hanging in the state.

Gas chamber: 10-18 minutes
Walter LaGrand choked and gagged for several minutes until he was pronounced dead 18 minutes after the poison pellets were dropped into acid, according to media witnesses in the Arizona prison.

Lethal injection: 5 minutes to 2 hours
In April 2014, Oklahoma officials halted Clayton Lockett’s botched lethal injection after he regained consciousness, but he died anyway — 43 minutes after the procedure began. Three months later, Joseph Wood remained alive – gasping hundreds of times — for nearly two hours after Arizona injected him with a drug it had never used before

The quickest way to kill someone is either by guillotine (it's all over in a snick snack chop), or by firing squad (bang you're dead).  Given the evident squeamishness of the legislature, beheading is out.  That leaves the firing squad.


CWMartin said...

Hey, ya left out stoning. When in doubt, go with the best...

Mad Jack said...

Okay, stoning. It takes a long time to die from being stoned to death, but there's never a shortage of volunteers, which I guess says something fairly uncomplimentary about the local populace.