Survivor Of Hanging To Be Hanged Again!
The Eighth amendment of the United States reads: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" (2). This amendment was ratified over 200 years ago, in 1791, and was based on the English bill of rights of 1689. This amendment reflects the basic human decency required of all government when dealing with "criminals".
The Iranian regime has long used slow strangulation and short drop hanging to kill individuals condemned to death. Despite all the supposed Iranian technological achievements, Iranian hangmen have yet to master the technique of long drop hanging (to ensure the neck brakes, allowing for instantaneous death). Victims of Iranian executions often struggle for long minutes until they finally die. This practice is "cruel and unusual punishment" by any civilized standard, even if its not mentioned in the Cyrus cylinder. http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/10/iranian-inhumane-hanging-practices.html
This week one of the more than 500 Iranians hanged this year was found still alive by his family when they went to claim him from the morgue. Apparently the prison physician has declared him dead after a hanging that lasted 12 minutes (1).
This would have been a sad story with a happy and miraculous ending, if it wasn't for the extra twist; the judiciary has decided to re-hang this man, after he recuperates of course.
Needless to say, Amnesty international called for a halt to the second execution. It's surprising, however, that Amnesty statement doesn't delve into the cruel techniques used in Iran. I guess they don't want to be seen teaching hanging techniques while calling for abolishing the death penalty (1).
I'm reposting the, now obsolete, US military hanging document that provide a standardized weight/rope chart. With hundreds of hangings a year, it may be worthwhile for the Iranian Republic to use this document to educate its executioners. While they're at it, they could also teach the prison doctors how to check for cornea reflex before declaring someone dead.
As for the technological barriers to humane hangings, I'm sure the IRGC engineers can be trusted with constructing the world's first portable reusable gallows, if they can take some time from their work on the Iranian space station that is.
Since the majlis (parliament) is not likely to write the eighth amendment into the Iranian constitution, it is left to up to the Rouhani administration to stop this style of hanging. Maybe they can see the benefit of spending a few thousand dollars to improve what's left of Iran's image!
I'm tweeting this piece to Rouhani. I'll be sure to post his response.