One man's taking of another's life is generally seen as an unforgivable act which is
punishable with death. When this is done as punishment however, it is seen as an
honorary deed by removing this criminal from the world and making it a much safer
place to live. With executions in mind, it is incredible what ingenious methods can be
thought of by the human brain and the fact that the idea is centered around the murdering
of one man does not even change how prodigious these innovations are seen to be. Many
different techniques and procedures for execution are used throughout the world
revealing much about a country's culture and their concern for their citizens.
By far one of the most well known and publicly glamorized of all methods of
execution is electrocution. Present in nine American states, it was first used in New York
in 1890. When a condemned man is scheduled to be executed, he is led into the death
chamber and strapped to the point of immobility into a reinforced chair with belts
crossing his chest, groin, legs, and arms.
Two copper electrodes, dipped in brine or
treated with Eletro-Creme to increase conductivity, are attached to him, one to his leg
and the other to his head. The first jolt, between five-hundred and two-thousand volts
depending on the size of the prisoner, is given for 30 seconds. Smoke will begin to come
out of the prisoner's leg and head and these areas may catch fire if the victim has been
sweating profusely. A doctor will examine him and if he still shows life signs, more jolts
of two-thousand volts are administered to finish the job (Matthews). A main reason for
electrocution's original use was the thought that death was immediate. Unfortunately this
is not the case.