How does death by hanging work?

“The modern method of judicial hanging is called the long drop. This is the method that Iraqi officials used to execute Saddam Hussein. In the long drop, those planning the execution calculate the drop distance required to break the subject’s neck based on his or her weight, height and build. With the knot of the noose placed at the left side of the subject’s neck, under the jaw, the jolt to the neck at the end of the drop is enough to break or dislocate a neck bone called the axis, which in turn should sever the spinal cord” [source]

Sounds ghastly and inhumane but truth is, such hanging when carried out with modern techniques, can be one of the quickest and most painless ways to be executed.


  1. actually,
    hanging cause dislocation of atlanto occipetal joint of thr neck
    dislocation lead to pressure on the brain stem, leading to instant death

  2. PK, I am not a medical expert so I just believed the site :) Perhaps you could write to How Stuff Works. I think the link above also mentions the fact that severing of the spinal cord may render the person brain-dead but for death to occur, it takes about 20-25 minutes so technically death may not be instant.

  3. There is no humane and painless way of killing an human being thats no civilized society should be doing that. Its a shame that the so called developed nations itself still engage in such brutality. I still don’t understand how justice is obtained the perpetuating the same deed on the convict of which he/she was accused of in the first place.

  4. Kuttan, I agree. I used to believe in the concept of capital punishment but now I am beginning to see the inherent fallacies of such a punishment.

  5. The True Long Drop will be, when all the Presidents, the CIA agents and the other officials are held accountable for all their actions, including making Saddam powerful and to the present day wars …..

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