Methods Of Capital Punishment

Essay by prog_rockHigh School, 11th grade May 2004

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We start at the beginning of a new religious revolution where criminals were put to death by means of crucifixion. The most well know crucifixion is that of Jesus Christ. He was put to death by the Romans 2000 years ago and is still remembered today. Crucifixion is a relatively inhumane way to execute someone and there are several different causes of death from crucifixion. The first common cause of death is blood loss. The accused is nailed to a section of the cross known as the crossbeam. The executioner hammers large square nails into the criminal's wrists, particularly between the radia and the ulna. This was necessary to ensure that the person did not fall from the cross. If the nails were put through the hand then, the sheer weight of the body would tear the skin thus causing the person to fall. The large spikes used were usually 5 to 7 inches in length with a square shaft 3/8 in (1 cm) across.


To die on the cross was believed to be especially painful and very strenuous on the body. Many of those crucified, died due to collapse of the lungs. The body putting a great deal of weight on the chest cavity, therefore causing the lungs to collapse and breathing to cease, caused this. While on the cross, there was no way of being fed and this led to many deaths from starvation or dehydration. The death itself could take hours or even days and often times the executioner helped along the process by inflicting wounds on the accused. The bible spoke of Jesus' executioner driving his sword through Jesus' side to ensure that he was dead. This way of death was particularly embarrassing and was done on top of a mountain for all to...