Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hang 'em high

While waiting for pics of the recently hanged Saddam Hussein, you may want to take a gander at these shots of people from history who were whacked:

The Lincoln assassination conspirators


Jesse James

Mussolini & friends

Che Guevarra

Did you enjoy that?

This wonderful world of ours has a distinguished history of hanging, which traces its origins way back to before the covered wagon days of the Old West.

Indeed, there actually are several forms of hanging, according to this website.

Saddam had thousands executed, it says here, including:

4,000 prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in 1984
3,000 prisoners at the Mahjar prison from 1993-1998
2,500 prisoners were executed between 1997-1999 in a "prison cleansing campaign."
122 political prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib prison in February/March 2000.
23 political prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib prison in October 2001.
At least 130 Iraqi women were beheaded between June 2000 and April 2001.

But summary execution does have occassional lighter moments, as reported by Time:

Since the Iraqi government reintroduced capital punishment in 2004, several executions have been beset by glitches and logistical snafus. At first, executioners used an old rope left over from Saddam's regime that stretched too much to break the condemned's neck; it sometimes took as long as eight minutes for the hanged to die. New ropes brought in for later executions jerked harder on the convicted person's spine, but executioners soon noticed the cords fraying on the bend of the reinforced steel installed in the cement ceiling of the gallows. During a recent round of executions, on Sept. 6, the rope snapped after 12 hangings, sending a condemned man plummeting 15 ft. through the trap door onto the hard concrete floor below. Miraculously, he survived. "Allah saved me!" he shouted. "Allah saved me!" For 40 minutes, prison guards, officials and witnesses engaged in heated arguments over whether or not to interpret the broken rope as divine intervention.

Happy New Year, ya'll!

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