Methods Of Execution Essay

1937 words - 8 pages

One man's taking of another's life is generally seen as an unforgivable act which ispunishable with death. When this is done as punishment however, it is seen as anhonorary deed by removing this criminal from the world and making it a much saferplace to live. With executions in mind, it is incredible what ingenious methods can bethought of by the human brain and the fact that the idea is centered around the murderingof one man does not even change how prodigious these innovations are seen to be. Manydifferent techniques and procedures for execution are used throughout the worldrevealing much about a country's culture and their concern for their citizens.By far one of the most well known and publicly glamorized of all methods ofexecution is electrocution. Present in nine American states, it was first used in New Yorkin 1890. When a condemned man is scheduled to be executed, he is led into the deathchamber and strapped to the point of immobility into a reinforced chair with beltscrossing his chest, groin, legs, and arms. Two copper electrodes, dipped in brine ortreated with Eletro-Creme to increase conductivity, are attached to him, one to his legand the other to his head. The first jolt, between five-hundred and two-thousand voltsdepending on the size of the prisoner, is given for 30 seconds. Smoke will begin to comeout of the prisoner's leg and head and these areas may catch fire if the victim has beensweating profusely. A doctor will examine him and if he still shows life signs, more joltsof two-thousand volts are administered to finish the job (Matthews). A main reason forelectrocution's original use was the thought that death was immediate. Unfortunately thisis not the case. Doctors today believe that the victim feels 'himself begin burned to deathand suffocating since the shock cause respiratory paralysis as well as cardiac arrest.Because the energy of the shock paralyzes the muscles, he cannot cry out, and thereforeis presumed dead ('This is your death...'). How ironic that one reason electrocution waskept in use was that, although expensive, it was immensely serene as far as the prisoner isconcerned.Still used extensively throughout the world today and in its sole representing U.S.state, Utah, the firing squad has a much greater claim to being humane as bullets directlyinto the heart generally cause instantaneous death. Utah uses an extremely exact andwell-practiced method which is immensely centered around concern for the victim bytaking almost every precaution possible to ensure a quick and easy death. The victim isbound to a chair with leather straps that cross his waist and head. Next a doctor locatesthe exact position of his heart with a stethescope and pins a circular white target over it.Twenty feet away, on the other side of a canvas wall, are five men with .30-caliber rifles.Each man aims through a gun portal located in the center of the canvas and firesimultaneously. A prisoner dies as a result of blood loss caused by rupture of...

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