Sunday, 11 February 2007

The secrecy and anonymity of the executioner(s) in Florida is an admission that those Goons know that they are doing wrong

Bravo Dr Allen!

The executioner in Ol'Blighty was a respected member of society, well known and a serious student of his part time trade. Marwood developed the long drop and the iron ring in the noose; Ellis was a perfectionist and was deeply disturbed by mishaps, which were few using the calculated drop. Perpoint, the last hangman, ran a successful pub when not dropping killer into the pit.

The British hanging was just that-- a hanging-- no pretense that it wasn't the homicide that it was. There was non dedicated song sung by Bruce Parks of "There she is Miss America" notoriety, and the execution was over in a twinkling of an eye, usually taking less than a minute.

If the unhood executioner calculated properly, death ensued quickly, no kicking air for twenty minutes, no head falling off, and minimal disfigurement because the noose was lined with leather.

I believe it was Ellis who stated that Englishman die with little fuss, and the only resistance came from foreigners and German Spies he executed in the 1940's, but that might be just a little Rule Britannia jingoism.

The Irish did their neck stretching a bit more dramatically; the executioner wore a grotesque mask, a device to make his back humped (to scare the victim no doubt) and allowed a last statement on the trap door, which the British did not.

On the continent, both the French and the Germans were quite efficient with their guillotine; the condemned did not know until the last moment when the executioner came to him or her. The German Criminal Code had a death warrant read just before the Judge said, "Henker, do your duty!"

Eight seconds later, the head was in a square steel container, and the body off the bascule. When the mouton, or top restraining board was clamped down, the "tric" released, and the blade made its trip down, slicing off the head in about a quarter second. The French version automatically tilted the headless corpse into a coffin-- a no touch technique.

The Nazis invented the lethal injection, using a different technique I won't describe, so I won't aid the Goons. About 20,000 people were killed by the "spritzen". It was efficient, quick, but probably caused some pain. One non-com officer (Klarr) was able to kill one a minute using this no fuss technique.

By shrouding the execution in a medical millieu, the GOONS are trying to desentitize the public. This fails as the Goons who perform the nasty work are not physicians or nurses, are usually grammar school drop outs, and have no idea what they are doing. With practice and good instruction, even a dumb pathologist like me can learn how to be proficient with line insertion, but the desired PIC line is more difficult to control. Having been on both sides of the needle, I can truly say that insertion can be painless--and I mean absolutely painless-- or it can be quite a painful ordeal.

Now most cut-downs are done under radiologic control, and some under general anesthesia. Cutp-downs are a major surgical procedure, requiring a good hand and dissection technique, and a Goon cannot do it properly.

I agree that if there must be executions, they should be as dramatic as possible, on reality TV and attracting a big crowd between halfs of the super bowl. Raise the price of a ticket by adding a surcharge for each execution, and still another charge if the prisoner made it a good show. Parade him aroum/her nude around the stadium and encourage execution fans to throw rotten tomatoes at him/her. The prisoner can be stoned in the end zone of the losing team. A public hanging stirs the blood, and maybe encourages more murder in the crowd to keep the goal posts full of dangling bodies during the second half. Hit a body with the ball, and win a ncigar and tickets to the next execution.

The secrecy and anonymity of the executioner(s) in Florida is an admission that those Goons know that they are doing wrong. It becomes an insult to God if they kill an innocent person. AT least have the courage to stand up squarely to what they do.

Of course the simplist and most humane thing to do is either sit the prisoner on an atomic bomb; this will cause instant death and vaporization. The problem is that it will kill the executioner, the watrden(prison governor to those upside down in Australia) and the witnesses. There will be no volunteer executioners, or candidates for governor, and that will be still another reason to abolish the death penalty.

G M Larkin MD
Charlotte NC USA

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