January 15, 2007
Iraq hanged two of Saddam Hussein’s aides early Monday, and one of the condemned was accidentally decapitated. The official video of the hangings shows Hussein’s half-brother lying headless below the gallows, his severed head several yards away, the Associated Press reported.
The executioner’s noose severed the head of Barzan Hassan, the former chief of Hussein’s secret police, according to a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s office.
I would note that the botch comes following the botched execution of Angel Diaz. Of course it isn’t as if Pennsylvania’s electric chair got the nickname “Old Smokey” because it was operated by a bear wearing a forest ranter’s hat, it is difficult to kill repeatedly and effectively other than by means that leave a level of discomfort to the onlooker (such as a rifle round to the back of the head as they do in China).