Differences Among Execution Actors

Long-drop hangings and short-drop hangings usually differ in how they cause death. In a 'glitch-free' long-drop hanging, the condemned drops 5'-9' and has his or her neck broken by a violent jerk of the rope around the neck. The condemned loses consciousness. The brain requires several minutes to die. The rest of the body takes up to 15 minutes to die. If the long-drop is too long, the person's head is torn from the body (decapitation). If the long-drop is too short, the person dies of strangulation. Strangulation takes several minutes and is excruciating. Short-drop hangings are designed to cause a slow, excruciating death by strangulation. Executioners are significantly more favorable to both long-drop and short-drop hangings, when compared to abstract supporters (soft and hard). Hard Abstract Supporters are more favorable than Soft Abstract Supporters to executions by long-drop and short-drop hangings. This difference is statistically significant for long-drop hangings but not short-drop hangings. For more technical information on the statistical tests, click here.