« Chopper's Horoscopes | Main | Chopper Ringtones »

You Reckon Saddam Got A Raw Deal?

Click to blow up
He could have gone like this - "He was briefly hanged; his genitals were sliced off and shown to him; a hot corkscrew-like implement was inserted in his anus and used to withdraw his bowels, which were then put to the torch and slowly burned before his eyes; and finally his pumping heart was extracted and his body beheaded and quartered." - Hung, drawn and quartered - that's what happened to cats accused of treason back in the old days in Merry Englande.

The French did it this way - "the traditional punishment for regicide (trying to knock off the King or Queen) under the ancien régime is often described as "quartering", though it in fact has little to do with the English punishment. The regicide offender would be first tortured with red-hot pincers, then the hand with which the crime was committed would be burnt with sulphur and molten lead and wax and boiling oil poured into the wounds. The quartering would be accomplished by the attachment of the victim's limbs to horses, who would then tear them away from the body. Finally, the often still-living torso would be burnt. Nice! The French always do things with a certain style, don't you think?

Coming back to the Poms...in Elizabethan times executions by beheading were considered the least brutal of execution methods and were accorded to important State prisoners or people of noble birth. Various traditions were observed at executions by beheading. A raised platform was built (scaffold) and covered with straw. A minister of the church would be available to offer religious comfort to the victim. The victim would be expected to pay and forgive the executioner. It would be hoped that the headsman completed his job swiftly and with care. Death by beheading with the use of the axe could be a terrifying prospect. The executioners often took several blows before the head was finally severed. If the executioner' axe was sharp and his aim was true, beheading was quick and relatively painless. If the instrument was blunt, the axeman inexperienced or careless, then the execution might take several strokes to sever the head. This was certainly the case in the execution by beheading of the brave Countess of Salisbury who died on 27th May 1541. Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury was dragged to the block, but refused to lay her head on the block. She was forced down and struggled. The inexperienced executioner made a gash in her shoulder rather than her neck. She leapt from the block and was chased by the executioner, with his axe. She was struck eleven times before she died.

Following execution the severed head was held up by the hair by the executioner. This was done, not as many people think to show the crowd the head, but in fact to show the head the faces of the crowd and it's own body! Killing by beheading is not immediate. Consciousness remains for at least eight seconds after beheading until lack of oxygen causes unconsciousness and eventually death.

Bloody hell! Count it - one Mississippi...two Mississippi...three Mississippi - eight seconds is a bloody long time to be looking at your decapitated body and the crowd.

But wait! There's more! Being burnt at the stake was another terrible form of death and execution. Executioners sometimes showed mercy to their victims by placing gunpowder at the base of the stake which helped the victims to a swifter, and less painful, death. The only other respite from the excruciating pain of being burnt alive was if the victims died of suffocation through smoke inhalation and lack of oxygen. This form of execution was traditionally reserved for traitors or those who spoke out against the religion favored by the current sovereign. Queen Elizabeth's Catholic sister Queen Mary sent over 300 Protestants to their death by burning earning herself the name of Bloody Mary.

Dang me, dang me...they're gonna take a rope and hang me. So all things considered...I reckon Saddam got off lightly. Although I don't agree with capital punishment whatever the crime.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.