Answers for February 2007

Everybody, here’s the February 2007 answers. I have been overseas on business, incommunicado and pretty flat out, and this now happens often so please don’t expect the full answers before about mid month. Sending me anonymous e-mails has no effect as I usually don’t read them until I collate the answers. The Web Wrangler is also a busy man, or if not, then he should be.

WINNER for this month with 5/6 correct (and Q4 might be an urban legend) is a repeat from Aruba, the Iceland of the tropics – good on yer:

Jo Esser


Question 1

If the hangman shows up to conduct a hanging, but the prisoner is reprieved at the very last moment, does the hangman still get paid?

Answer

Well, under these circumstances the experienced British hangman (Albert Pierrepoint) got offered 1 pound instead of the full fee of 15 pounds – he resigned in disgust. He was told that in Scotland he would have been paid in full.

Additional Answers

  • A state barbaric enough to hang persons would probably consider it most immoral not to pay the hangperson in such circumstances.
  • Paid? I’d kill for a job like that.
  • But does he: (1) have an AWA; (2) work under an award; (3) hold tenure as an academic hangman? The answers are, clearly, (1) No, (2)&(3) Yes. Tch, do define your parameters better, Dr Bob.
  • Definitely KNOT.
  • Depends on his/her work place agreement. I think the United League of Hangmen, Axemen, Needlemen and Girls (ULHANG) has been dissolved so each hangman has to battle with his/her employer unsupported. Life is tough in today’s execution business sector. I’d slip him a generous tip make sure he does a good job.
  • Depends on the wording of their AWA
  • He gets paid half. Because he brought out his equipment but did not use them.
  • He gets the initial instalment only.
  • Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to ask the quizmaster on the left if I were to ask the quizmaster on the right the correct answer to the question what would he say. Then my answer is the opposite. Ha, I’m right no matter whether I’ve asked the truthtelling quizmaster, or the lying quizmaster.
  • Hmmm. You’re asking if I should pay a (probably) strong man with a sharpened axe who expected to be paid for a job (usually) done well. Uhhh.. yes.
  • If hangmen had a proper union he would of course get paid. I mean, you have to prepare the rope, test the trap etc. However with more detail about time and country I can’t really answer. But what would happen if the hangman didn’t show up? Say he figured “Oh that guy is going to be reprieved, I haven’t paid my union dues so they won’t help me. I’ll just go to the pub instead”. Then what? Questions, questions.
  • If the hangman is a public servant then he will receive his normal wage but possibly without the penalty rate for actually performing the hanging (depends on the jurisdiction). However, if the hangman is a contract nooseman, then he would have to stipulate in his contract that there was a minimum cancellation time (eg 48hrs) after which, like my dentist, he got paid whether or not it was conducted. If there was no cancellation clause then he may not be paid.
  • Is she in the CFMEU?
  • It all depends… In which country? During which era? Military or government proceedings? For example, I’m sure that in a military situation, the hangman is paid like every other soldier, if he is used or not. In some cases in history, the hangman’s pay was satisfaction in a job well done, in which case the answer would be no.
  • It depends on whether he’s on one of Little Johnny’s beloved individual workplace agreements. If he is, he probably won’t even get a thank you card from the warden.
  • Like any showman in showbusiness he still gets his appearance fee.
  • No
  • No – not under Howard’s industrial reforms (for which he should be hanged). In fact, under our immigration laws, only foreigners will be hanged and they will never be reprieved. Never ever.
  • No, but he makes his boss buy him a beer and a lapdance for his troubles.
  • No, he has not done his job.
  • No, unless he is in Scotland
  • No. Hanging is piecework. That is why botched hangings are to be avoided – more pieces.
  • Nope, unless you worked in Scotland. And we prefer the title ‘executioner’, if you please.
  • Not if his name is Albert
  • Not under John Howard’s Workplace Laws
  • Of course – they have a very strong union
  • Of Course. He is, after all, a civil servant. That’s all a bunch of romance fiction hugger-mugger about not being paid if the jobs not done.
  • Of course. The Hangmans’Award Rate states a minimum of 4 hour’s pay for turning up to workplace, plus stress money for not being able to perform duty.
  • One would hope so, I mean he has probably spent hours cleaning the hoods, checking the ropes and so on.
  • Only if she (hangwomen?) was smart enough to demand payment in advance, irregardless of actual performance [and had not already been hung for using the so-called word “irregardless”].
  • Probably not, but he should I reckon. I’d pay him. Wouldn’t you? He’d probably had a bath and gone to all that trouble to turn up and what have you. Probably brushed his teeth too. It’s only fair really.
  • Probably not. Most cities were quite stingy with their hangmen.
  • Probably. After all if he didn’t get paid he might not come back again
  • Probably. Or do hangmen freelance? Like, not dead, no money kind of deal.
  • Sure, why not.
  • The answer to this one just has to be no. Well if you want to get a hangman he has to like the job. Pay or not.
  • The hangman shouldn’t exist in the first place, state sanctioned murder is as grotesque as murder in the first place
  • The hangmen would get a retainer irrespective of whether there were any hangings that week or not. So yes, they got paid every week.
  • The Teamsters do. And paying American workers to do nothing raises the costs of our executions and tortures. That is why America has had to outsource a number of good, high paying torture jobs to Eastern Europe and the Middle East over the last 6 years.
  • Today the executioner is a government employee so he is paid regardless
  • Travelling expenses: 2 pounds
  • Execution fee: 10 pounds
  • Seeing a prisoner get a reprieve: priceless
  • Would you want to NOT pay someone who kills people for a living?
  • Yes as he is on the staff payroll anyway. Yet any loading for performing the actual hanging is forfeit
  • Yes, because he is on a salary. I don’t think they they have a quota system in place for hangmen.
  • Yes, but he gets paid in gummie-bears, 6% of which are super-annuable. If the hangman doesn’t turn up, then the gummie-bears are given to the prisoner. If neither prisoner nor hangman turn up, the gummie-bears are sold on the black market at a deflated price.
  • Yes. If he doesn’t get a callout fee, he should get his union rep onto it.
  • Yup. And who pays the ferryman?

Question 2

Why were sentences of the death penalty in England often passed on a Friday?

Answer

Because the sentence was customarily carried out 2 days later, unless that day was a Sunday – so the condemned man got an extra day. My book says “Those not reprieved would be kept in the condemned areas of Newgate in abysmal conditions and it was not unusual for one or two to die of Goal (sic) Fever or other illness before their execution date” Here we go, here we go, here we go ….

Additional Answers

  • Because Bob Geldof doesn’t like Mondays
  • Because Jesus was killed on Friday?
  • Because nothing happens over the weekend and on monday morning everyone is hungover anyway, so nothing happens then either. So let’s do it all on Friday!
  • Because of an obscure piece of Christian scripture.
  • Because of the precedent of “Good Friday” when joshua bar-joseph allegedly was crucified.
  • Because the courts had targets to reach by Saturday.
  • Because the hangmen can go out clubbing afterwards.
  • Because they were eaten on a Thursday
  • Because two days had to pass before the hanging and Sunday was a good day for getting the crowds in. You could go to Church then pop down to the gallows for the hanging and still be home in time for lunch and a nana nap or the footy.
  • Because you get fish and chips for tea on Friday so just pass the sentence and get to noshing in.
  • Better headlines for the widely-read Saturday morning noosepapers.
  • Bigger crowds on Saturdays?
  • Cause the Judges, having already sat from Monday thru Thursday, were by then, weak-end.
  • Courts don’t sit at weekends; therefore less likelihood of reprieve before sentence carried out.
  • Courts only operate 5 days a week so just by chance 20 % would fall on a Friday. 20% is often enough to be called often.
  • Definition: Often- Occuring with a frequency of 20% or more. If the death sentences were even distributed over the weekdays then by definition they were often passed on a Friday.
  • Eastenders (a down-market UK soap-opera) is usually at its height of gloominess on a friday evening, so people needed cheering up.
  • Everyone wanted to get on with the weekend, so they just said “kill him already, I wanna party down!”
  • For the Sabbath and the big party day before the Sabbath, during which the locals would get so stinking drunk the condemned almost always escaped.
  • Great entertainment for friday night and thats when you get paid by centrelink.
  • Hanging day was Monday and this made a good 3-day weekend for the judges.
  • Hangings were carried out within 2 days of sentencing, but not on Sundays. So the chained up prisoner got an extra day of bread & water.
  • I dunno. But if it was me doing it that’s what I would do. See I’m talented but lazy. I do all my work on Friday. Slack off all week then on Friday just do everything required.
  • I’ll guess that it was doffing a cap at the execution of Jesus, which also happened on a Friday.
  • I’m not sure. I think it was the basis for this poem though.
  • Mondays child is fair of face,
  • Tuesdays child is full of grace,
  • Wednesdays child is full of woe,
  • Thursdays child has far to go,
  • Fridays child is hung by the neck until dead,
  • Saturdays child works hard for his living,
  • And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
  • Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
  • It’s 2 for 1 at the Judge’s local on Thursday, so he often returned to work feeling a bit narky on Fridays.
  • I’ve had enough lets get it over with, I want to go fishing in the morning
  • No courts on saturday & sunday
  • On Friday night the Judge would get blind rotten drunk and forget what happened on Friday. Therefore by Monday all is forgotten what happened on Friday.
  • One in every seven days is a Friday – I guess that constitutes often
  • Sit in a stuffy courtroom listening to boring testimony while a pair of Barristers argue and object every three minutes… Or hit the pub early and get the weekend started? Hang him! Court adjourned!
  • So more people could watch the hanging on the weekend.
  • so people could drink all weekend
  • so people had the weekend to think about it
  • So that families could spend some wholesome quality time together on the weekend going to the hanging on Saturday, then be all jollied out in time for church on Sunday.
  • so that the public hanging could be performed to the masses attending the market
  • So the bodies could be left up over the weekend when most people were off work, as a warning to others.
  • so the burial workers could get overtime
  • So the hangings could proceed and provide the weekend entertainment.
  • So the kiddies and punters could see the hanging on a weekend.
  • So the kind old judges would allow the people they had just sentenced to death an extra day, since you couldn’t be hanged on a sunday. (The 1752 “Act for the better preventing the horrid Crime of Murder” specified that two days should elapse between sentence and execution, and not on a Sunday)
  • So the rabble could head directly to the nearest tavern to swill warm ale. Poets day (piss off early, tomorrows saturday)
  • So the sentences could be done on a Saturday whish is when everyone has their break of off work and comes down town to watch.
  • So they could get rid of them on saturday to leave the rest of the weekend free
  • So they could have a good laugh at the pub afterwards and not have to get up too early for work the next day.
  • The “Murder Act” specified that two days should elapse between sentence and execution unless the third day should be a Sunday in which case the execution should take place on the Monday. Judges normally sentenced murderers on a Friday to allow them this extra day.
  • The judges have had a bad week.
  • The Murder Act of 1752 specified that execution take place two days after sentence, unless the third day was a Sunday in which case it would be held over until the Monday.
  • There was a statutory two-day wait between the sentencing and the carrying out of the sentence. No executions could be conducted on Sundays, so a Friday sentence gave the condemned an extra day.
  • They couldn’t wait for the next Friday the 13th to sacrifice some criminal to their god.
  • To allow church services on sunday to pray for their soul etc etc??
  • To allow the person to attend church and ask for forgiveness one last time in his lifetime.
  • To meet the weekly quota and to ensure that the budget item “Hangman’s Fees” was spent. We all know what happens to unspent items on the day of reckoning.
  • To stop lazy lawyers buggering off earlier in the week.
  • Trial on Friday, execution on Saturday, picnic lunch for the judge on Sunday.
  • Weekend hanging
  • Wouldn’t want to spoil the weekend

Question 3

Between Newgate prison and Tyburn gallows, the procession of condemned men would stop twice, why?

Answer

For a beer. There were two pubs along the way.

Additional Answers

  • They were just ‘hanging’ around! Ha! No, really, who ‘noose’ the answer to this one?… erm, etc.
  • A stop was often made at St. Sepulchre’s Church and two public houses along the way where the criminals were customarily given a drink.
  • A trip to the pub of course
  • Apparently, Newgate Prison is a good two miles from Tyburn gallows and the condemned had to walk the route. The first stop was at the Bowl Inn for a drink. The second was at the Mason’s Arms for another drink. Little known bit of lore, they used to have a third stop at “The Well Hung Club” for lap dances, but that tradition was eliminated by the church as being “too unseemly.”
  • Cause there is only two ‘Stop Signs’ betwixt the two.
  • Change of underwear.
  • First at the Bowl Inn at St Giles, for a drink, and then at Mason’s Arms at Seymour Place for a last meal.
  • First stop to piss themselves with relief as Newgate disappeared behind and second stop to crap themselves in anticipation as the Tyburn gibbet hove into view.
  • First to urinate (“number one”) then to defecate (“number two”) when the c.m. lost control of their bladders and bowels (what about processions of condemned women, would they stop once, twice, thrice, etc.).
  • For a drink
  • For a drop of Hangman’s Noose? A snort of Gallows Galliano? A swig of Trapdoor Tea?
  • For a leak, put a bet on?
  • For a little drinkie, of course, you don’t expect them to kick and twitch and gurgle in a lively and interesting way if they’re all floppy and dehydrated, do you?
  • For drinks – firstly at the Bowl Inn at St. Giles and then at the Mason’s Arms. Some English beers would make hanging seem like a good alternative.
  • For pit stop
  • Hanging and drawing
  • I won’t say the prisoners were dying for a beer since you didn’t say the death penalty was suspended.
  • It allowed the crowd extra time to hoot at the prisoner.
  • Lady Godiva going to and fro.
  • No idea. Comfort breaks?
  • No reason, it’s just a tradition that has been handed down.
  • Number 1 stop. Number 2 stop.
  • Once at the church for consolation & then to the pub for an ale.
  • Once at the pub and once at the fish and chip shop.
  • once for flowers and once for a drink
  • Once in front of Buckingham Palace to salute the monarch and once at the Thames to allow the bridge to be lowered.
  • Once to check the identity of the person being condemned. Second, to ask if anyone else would exchange places with the person.
  • Once to go to church and once to stop for traffic
  • One time would be to stop for a drink with the hangman, the less entertaining stop would be when the condemned was given a bunch of flowers at a church en-route.
  • Pee break
  • Protesters. There’s always protesters. Probably witches too, with the naked and the fire and the dancing.
  • Public exhibition of the condemned person. Drawing and quartering followed the hanging.
  • Red light.
  • remove shackles and prayer
  • So people could abuse those convicted.
  • Team talks.
  • The officials would not let them stop more often. snicker, snicker. (OK, that was too easy and I will understand if you can’t include it in the final answers).
  • The traffic lights of course
  • They had to check their email from their russian mail order brides, and report to centrelink.
  • They stopped at the pub for a drink. (Really, I mean it). They did. Awfully decent of them really. I’ll ‘ave arf. And to get away from the riff raff for a bit, who were chucking stuff at them.
  • To allow the public to jeer and pelt them with shit.
  • To freak them out. Just when they think they’re gonna die NOW, they move on.
  • to put them on the sled and to take them off.
  • To repent their sins and have a beer for the road (at St. Sepulchre’s Church and at a pub).
  • To stop for a drink half way through the journey, at the Bowl Inn at St Giles, and a last meal at the Mason’s Arms, a pub in Seymour Place.
  • To take a drink. Hopefully something strong. Hopefully some Mickey Finns in it, too.
  • Toilet break, once for the condemned, and once for the officials.
  • Traffic Lights
  • TV Time Outs. (The condemned had a drink then, just like today’ athletes.)
  • two churches along the way
  • Two gates?
  • Well it’s a bit of a walk. If it was me I would just drop into a pub or two on the way. I “communicated” (secret, shh!)with a few guys back then that did that stuff. It seems they had an excuse they used. But they just laughed about that. Really they dropped in at the pub. Oddly enough the condemned man never complained. On a few occasions a rich condemned guy would buy heaps of beer for the guards etc and just sneak off. Then they would just hang the most drunken guard etc that they didn’t like anyway.
  • Why not – I’d be trying to stop as many times as humanly possible. Might even get a free beer on route.

Question 4

When Ned Kelly was hung – actually before, during and after he was hung – what was in the well under the gallows trap door?

Answer, Which Nobody Got

A Catholic priest. Keen to dispense extreme unction as soon as possible after death – and you can’t get much sooner than, er, hanging around in the well under the gallows

Additional Answers

  • Actually, he was “hanged”. Miss Barker in Grade Three taught me that pictures are “hung” while people are “hanged”. God I love the English language! As for what was in the well, well we’ll have to think well about that one.
  • A bottle of vodka and a ping pong table.
  • A cart? Dan Kelly? Armor? None of the above?
  • A chorus of croaking frogs.
  • A doctor
  • A hole. How very zen.
  • A letter from centrelink.
  • A person waiting to take his death mask.
  • A shark.
  • A spike?
  • An enormous earthworm, hundreds of Bogong moths and several dozen discarded lucky charm bracelets.
  • Bale of hay to soften his fall.
  • Bales of wool (seeing as how he was in Australia and wool would be more readily available than cotton). Was Ned hung? No wonder the ladies liked him!
  • Before: Some water probably. After: Ned Kelly
  • Bucket
  • cattle thief, water
  • Crocodiles?
  • Don’t know. But you mean “hanged” (not “hung”). 🙂
  • His Coffin
  • His gang
  • His manfriend.
  • His pardon.
  • Holy water?
  • If it was a well it would have water in it wouldn’t it?
  • In Ghostbusters 2, under the road was a river of pink goo. I’ll go for that… Pink goo.
  • lime
  • Lions!……..?
  • Nothing
  • Oh, Oh, Oh, I work there. Well almost. In the building (Old Melbourne Jail) but I have never seen that bit because they would make me pay money to see it. So as it was probably a hole I’ll just say air. Maybe something else as well.
  • Paparazzi. Naomi Robson was wearing a bucket with eyeholes cut out of it on her head, and this was later decried as being in poor taste.
  • People are hanged pictures are hung. Ned may have been ‘hung’ but we are not talking about wedding tackle today
  • Pussy.
  • Pussy.
  • Pussy. Naturally.
  • Rather than answer this let me outline a solution. Google a movie about Ned Kelly. Put it in my Netflix queue. [Like Homescreen] Move it to the top of my queue. Mail back my “documentary”. Wait. Watch movie. Supply answer to question. The actual answering is left to the reader as I could not possibly move Borat lower in my queue.
  • Skeletons.. Or Crocodiles.
  • Spectators. Foxtel wasn’t available then.
  • Spiders? Pirahna? Speakers playing Phillip Glass tunes?
  • Straw
  • The Hangmans secret beer stash – No one would think to look in the well & it kept his ales cool.
  • The main ground-floor corridor of the gaol. When someone was hung, they dropped through and hung there in the corridor for a while.
  • The reporters and officials
  • The secret underground railroad. Go Freedom train go!
  • The trouble with doing this quiz after the first couple days of the month is that whenever you think you have a good way to google the answer you get a link back to the quiz instead. Damn spiders!
  • The urine he urinated out when he lost control of his bladder.
  • There was at least a couple of feet of empty space, otherwise he’d have had something to stand on.
  • To make sure the hanging was quick, friedns and family members would below to grab the felon and pull, speeding up the process.
  • Vermin
  • water?????
  • Whooo, the possibilities! Air? Dirt? The bodily fluids of those who went before him? The list goes on and on!
  • You can’t have a well without water

Question 5

When the death penalty was discontinued (I won’t say “suspended”) in Britain in the 1960s they forgot to cover one crime, for which a person could therefore in theory still be hung. What was that crime?

Answer

Different answers are possible, this is what Jo Esser found:

  • 8 November 1965. Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act passed which effectively abolished capital punishment but provided for another vote on it “within 5 years.” Treason, piracy with violence and arson in Royal Dockyards remained capital crimes. – Pasted from http://www.richard.clark32.btinternet.co.uk/timeline.html
  • 16 & 18 December 1969. The House of Commons and House of Lords respectively confirmed abolition of capital punishment for murder.
  • 1971. Arson in Royal Dockyards ceased to be a capital offence, or in fact any specific offence.
  • 1998. Death penalty abolished for crimes committed under military jurisdiction.
  • 31 July 1998. The Criminal Justice Bill removed High Treason and piracy with violence as capital crimes, thus effectively ending capital punishment.
  • The Human Rights Act 1998 removed the death penalty as a permissible penalty for any crime.
  • The UK later (October 10, 2003) acceded to the 13th Protocol, which prohibits the death penalty under all circumstances.
  • According to The Guardian (source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,247537,00.html) regicide (killing the monarch, a form of high treason) the rarest of all crimes, rarer than mutiny, piracy, and arson in her Majesty’s shipyards, was the last offence to carry the death penalty in Britain.

Additional Answers

  • Wilfully and persistently using a rising inflection at the end of each sentence whilst talking on a mobile phone in the cinema wearing a baseball cap backwards.
  • A military one, I’ll bet, although I like the old British ‘being in the company of gypsies for more than one month.’ Hmmm, piracy is tempting, too, but I’ll go with: ‘arson in the Royal Dockyard by a soldier or sailor in time of war’.
  • According to my sources (who will remain anonymous because they will be discredited) there was more than one: treason, piracy causing a fire or explosion in a naval dockyard, magazine or warehouse, and certain crimes under the jurisdiction of the armed forces. As Britain was in the EU from 1972 and any law they have extinguishes the local law, capital punishment can’t be carried out without secession from the EU – except in time of war.
  • Antidisestablishmentarianism.
  • Attempted suicide?
  • Blowing up her majesty’s dockyards, and Treason. Attempted suicide may still be on the statute books.
  • Buggery. Friend of mine (a Pom) told me that in 1950, buggery was illegal in Britain. In 1956 they made it legal. He emigrated before they could make it compulsory.
  • But you did say suspended. So in the same spirit although I’m having trouble finding this answer I’ll hang in there.
  • Captaining the current Ashes team!
  • Crime of hanging
  • Downloading music or other copyrighted data or software. They didn’t forget it they just didn’t know it could be done. Soon to be back on the books.
  • Either perjury in a capital case or publishing quiz answers after the 15th.
  • Engaging in an illegal war in Iraq (why hasn’t Tony been strung up)?
  • Failure to keep left (well it should be a capital offence).
  • Fighting a war in a country that still continues hanging.
  • for not reporting your new job to centrelink.
  • Homosexuality
  • Invading Iraq?
  • Inventing the Internet.
  • Killing a swan.
  • Killing the Monarch (treason!!!!!!!)
  • Marrying into the royal family.
  • Not one, but three – treason, piracy with violence, causing a fire or explosion in a naval dockyard, magazine or warehouse.
  • Oooh it’s like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I’d like to call my friend Wikipedia. Wiki says it is one of these four: murder, treason, arson in royal dockyards, and piracy. I’ve got an idea, but I’d like to take a 50/50. I’ll wait.
  • peeing in public
  • Piracy and High Treason were both still technically punishable by death until 1999, however both loopholes were closed when Jack Straw signed the European Convention of Human Rights.
  • Piracy- not video, but of the high seas.
  • Regicide – unless you drive a Mercedes in Paris.
  • Regicide, which if you consider the power the current royal family wields as opposed to the royals of a couple of centuries ago explains clearly why it was overlooked. Give it a couple of more centuries and the crime will be reduced to a misdemeanor, I’m sure.
  • Regicide. Leave the Royals alone! Thomas Meagher was one of the last men sentenced to be drawn and quartered in England for even planning to assassinate Queen Victoria. His sentence, however, was changed to transmission to Australia. He never made it; he escaped to the USA, fought on the Union side in the Civil War and died a mysterious death in Montana.
  • Regicide?
  • Serving good quality food?
  • Setting a persons trousers on fire. Why that? Well I just heard the phrase on the telly as I was about to type.
  • Sheep shagging
  • Sounds like suicide. If you hung yourself then you’ve technically been hung for commiting a crime.
  • Stealing a horse.
  • Stealing Food(i.e. bread)
  • Suicide by hanging.
  • The death penalty survived for treason, and piracy with violence, causing a fire or explosion in a naval dockyard, magazine or warehouse, and certain crimes under the jurisdiction of the armed forces.
  • Theft
  • Ticking off the hangman by not paying him for coming all the way out to the gallows by mistake. He doesn’t come there for nothing you know.
  • Treason
  • Treason
  • Treason (and it was 1971)
  • Treason because the answer is obvious t’reason.
  • Treason during wartime? or speaking ill of the Queen? or denying the holocaust?
  • Treason, arson in Her Majesty’s dockyards or piracy with violence, maybe sheep stealing? Highway robbery. I just don’t know. One of those. Typical poms, all very silly things to get necked for.
  • Treason, piracy with violence, causing a fire in a navel dockyard
  • Treason. I am unclear about military law?
  • Trees on
  • Until 1998 there were two crimes – treason and piracy. This is no longer the case though.
  • Witchcraft

Question 6

How did someone exploit this table to cheat the gallows in the 1990s?

Answer

This is a table of drop distance vs weight of the victim in lbs. Mitchell Rupe in the State of Washington, USA, gained weight to 409lbs and then pleaded that if he was hung from any height at all, his head would come off and this constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Unable to be hung, he died from being overweight.

Additional Answers

  • (L) column is weight in pounds. (R) column is drop rate. The condemned person was so fat that the hangman could not calculate a drop rate that would guarantee a successful outcome.
  • 1990’s? Imported it into an Excel spread sheet. Showed the powers that be the synergy and benefits of upgrading the system for humanitarian reasons. Then snuck out the back door when the “powers that be” were trying to find the “any” key.
  • Ahh yes, I have no idea. Obviously it is weight versus drop length of the rope. It must be in pounds. If I was 120 kilos and dropped eight foot four, WOW! Probably get stuck in the trap. Or hit the floor before the rope broke my neck.
  • Because, as he explained at the time, the sum of the two sides was equal to the hypotenuse.
  • Being taller than 195 cm.
  • Buggered if I know it has numbers in it and that’s just too scary. They had a wine cask bladder shoved up their bottom filled with water and (somehow) managed to empty it while they were up on the gallows.
  • By being 5’1″
  • By pointing out that the body mass column had no units and therefore SI units must be assumed. On that scale, his own body mass of 78kg would have required a drop of more than 20 feet which the gallows could not accommodate.
  • Cheating the Gallows usually means committing suicide before one can be hanged, so maybe the purportrator slit his wrists with a paper cut?
  • First, I think the table relates to a persons weight in pounds in the left column and height they were to fall in the right column. The person exclaimed, how can you hang me, when my weight is not listed on the table!!
  • He became so hugely obese that the hanging would snap off his head, thus constituting, in the words of his lawyers “cruel and unusual punishment”.
  • He got a well-wisher to send him a big cuddly teddy bear holding a bunch of balloons (“Goodbye and Good Luck”), but the bear was stuffed with fishing sinkers. He stuck the bear up his jumper when he was weighed. As a result, he was weighed as being heavier than he actually was, so the hangman used a rope that was too short. The practical upshot was that he didn’t fall far enough to kill him, he just dangled about until they cut him down out of embarrassment. (The hangman definitely didn’t get a thank you card from the warden, although the prisoner in question sent him a cuddly teddy bear).
  • He showed it to the hangman, threw it at the ground and said “look something shiny” and cheated his way to freedom!
  • He took advantage of his being a midget at only 80 pounds of weight, therefore not on the list, therefore no hanging. Oh, isn’t bureaucracy sweet if it actually works FOR you!
  • He was able to demonstrate that he was so heavy he would break the equipment.
  • His height was not listed on the table, therefore his execution could not take place.
  • I’d have to plot and calculate and it’s too late; but I’d guess an anorexic would have to drop so far there are no gallows high enough. Especially a tall anorexic. BTW – what are the units in the left column?
  • If he was 5 2 inches tall and weighed 195 kilos he would be too fat to fall through the trapdoor
  • If you fatten yourself up to go over the scale then the hangman wouldn’t know how far the drop should be.
  • If you weigh 500 pounds you have to be lifted to be hung without losing your head.
  • In 1892 a prisoner’s neck was not been broken by the shorter fall.
  • It wasn’t metric, therefore not legal.
  • It’s an imperial measurement ‘drop’ table to calculate the fall for a person of a given mass so that s/he has hes neck snapped while not losing hes head like that mate of Saddam recently. So I guess that the cheater weighed <120lb or >195lb. Either that or the cheater’s hangman was European and could not work out a non-SI drop table.
  • Maybe it is peoples heights and rope length used to hang them, maybe the way they cheated the gallows was by not dieing by the noose… too long for their height??
  • Mitchell Rupe ate nothing but junk food for months before he was supposed to hang in 1994 in Washington. At 409 pounds, they reckon any length of rope would have decapitated him. Ironically he died in hospital, probably of an obesity related illness.
  • Mitchell Rupe, a Washington inmate who was supposed to hang in 1994. On death row, Rupe refused all exercise and ate junk food nonstop. By the time of his execution he’d reached 409 pounds, well above the table’s maximum listed weight. According to Army regulations, anyone heavier than 220 pounds would get a 5-foot drop. The Washington authorities made an exception and cut Rupe’s planned drop to 3.5 feet. Rupe appealed his case, and a federal judge ruled that the risk of decapitation was still too high
  • Oooh, don’t know, numbers scare me a bit. Possibly because the person working out the drop was mathematically challenged like myself and got it terribly wrong.
  • Oooh, topical. Mitchell Rupe. Too bad for him cirrhosis does not have a similar chart. This would make a good example of why to be careful with regression. That data would look good for maybe a constant plus an exponential decay, or- looking at differences- maybe a polynomial. You would not in practice want to apply a quadratic fit to the data however. Can I borrow your disclaimer from the top of the page for the day I try this in class? 🙂
  • People who thought hanging is cool are obviously dumb, so some guy scared them all by explaining the meaning of this table. While they stared dumbfounded, he ran.
  • Said he was 7’2″
  • She or he so confused the executioner with it that she or he was able to run off.
  • Someone under 120 lbs so the drop would be too short . . . Michael Jackson?
  • Table correlates height of criminal to length of rope required. No rope length specified for person outside this range.
  • The column on the left charts the weight of the condemned, the column on the right marks the length of rope to be used so as to break the neck without popping the head off. Mob hit man Vinny “the Stick” DiMaggio who was a whopping seven feet tall went on a crash diet after being sentenced to death for ‘whacking’ three mobsters, 2 lawyers, four stock brokers and a nun, dropped his weight to 120 and got the 8’4″ rope. When the door opened on the 15 foot drop, he fell through landing on his feet, surviving the hanging. As a result he was released having fulfilled his punishment. Besides, everyone agreed they wouldn’t miss the mobsters, the lawyers were practically a community service, the stockbrokers were easily replaced and the nun really had been asking for it.
  • The left-hand side is weight in pounds of the condemned. The right-hand side is the distance they need to fall in order to ensure their neck breaks, but does not decapitate them. Because it ends at 195 pounds, someone over that weight has no correlating distance they need to fall. Some fat ‘dead man walking’ got off by saying that because his weight wasn’t on the chart, they couldn’t know the distance of the nooseman’s ‘goldilocks zone’, where the distance falling is not too short that the neck doesn’t break and they just hang there until they die of asphyxiation or dehydration or boredom or whatever (cruel and unusual) yet not so far to fall that their head comes clean off when the trap door opens. The same argument could be made for someone whose weight was below 120 pounds.
  • The old drop table exploitation trick. My guess it they starved themselves and there weren’t any gallows high enough.
  • The person obviously weighed much less than 120lb and there was not enough room for the drop. I believe that the standard practice in cases such as this was to weight the condemned with sandbags.
  • The right column is height, the left column is age. The prisoner said “I might be 5’10”, but I’m certainly not 170 years old”.
  • The table looks like a drop table which is wieght in pounds vs drop distance. I can’t see how anyone could cheat it because it all involves a long drop with a short stop.
  • The weight table gives the amount of “drop” needed to ensure that the knot in the rope breaks the neck. A light person, by adding weight would have a shorter drop, the rope does not break the neck, although strangulation is still possible, If released quickly enough after the trap door lever is pulled, the person may escape death. Too long a plunge could lead to decapitation
  • They folded it into scissors and cut the noose.
  • They placed a bet on a prisoner who weighed 170 pounds being decapitated. Then they convinced the executioner that ‘ means inches and ” means feet. No one can ever keep those straight.
  • They said they were shorter than they actually were and got a longer rope.
  • They were a midget i.e less than 120 cm and the rope needed to be longer than 8’4″ and they didn’t have enough? or the other way around, too tall rope too short to hang someone
  • They were obviously from Cornwall and less than 5′ 2″. But why would you hang a man that you couldn’t understand anyway?
  • They were taller than the heights which the chart went up to.
  • This table is actually printed inside the Monopoly ‘Get out of Gaol (No, not Jail) Free’ card. It is cleverly printed inside the card, so you have to prise apart the cardboard & there it is. The miscreant knew this and presented the Card.
  • too short
  • too tall
  • Wearing heels?
  • Wore stilts therefore shortening the length of rope required & only receiving a little pinch when the trapdoor was sprung.

Comments, From Those Of You That Hung In There:

  • Ok, Dr. Bob. Wow, first nudity, now capital punishment. This is becoming uncomfortably conservative.
  • after watching Saddam Hussein get it in the neck I’m glad we do not do that anymore. Decapitation is much more interesting
  • Anyone who says a question hung them up this month should be banned for life.
  • Are women hung in Australia as much as men?
  • As a resident of Holloway, I find it most disconcerting that these questions have been raised. There are some matters that are not discussed in polite company (my wife agrees with me on this). We are prepared to forego stringent criticism at this time, on the assumption that this is an aberration on your part. Please sir, I beg you… in future consider your station as a gentleman. By the way, these are very difficult questions – maybe something easier next time?
  • Bloody gruesome topic. Capital punishment is a crime against humanity & my view never changes – even for Saddam Hussein. [The questions were prepared months in advance, but on the day they were due to be put up I thought, what the hell. You saw my red-type disclaimer at the top that said the same thing. I did use to think that in some circumstances it just might be justified, including for Mr Hussein, but having seen the ghastly video thereof I have now taken an absolute black and white position as yours. We are just as barbaric as the person hanged, so we cannot stand on the moral high ground. ]
  • Do you find that after the first coffee of the day, you really need to go potty?
  • Fiendishly clever this month Dr Bob. I am in awe as usual. Had to think about them for two weeks……..Why does my head hurt? My wife says I have lost the plot. Is she right?
  • Good on you James!, and remember there is absolutely NO shame in being the SECOND Boltonian to win the quiz. None whatsoever. Usually no-one ever remembers ‘who came second’, but in this case I think they probably will. Sometimes, they don’t even give prizes for second place!, like when I was a kid at sports-day and I came second but they didn’t even give me a trophy (my thumb was NOT on the egg DAMN-IT! I will never forgive you Mrs Williamson. Rot in hell). Anyway, I digress, Well Done!
  • Hi Dr. Bob, can’t believe it’s February already, where does the time go…
  • I hear the true faith of the quiz. I didn’t google I just typed in any old crap. I win right?
  • I only got 5 numbers, not 6, on the spam filter. I guess that is OK though because I submitted less than 6 good answers, too.
  • If all the girls in Australia were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.
  • I’m choked up over this one, Bob.
  • I’m really glad we don’t hang people any more or there’d be a big blank space here. I’m really bad. [Bad, mad and dangerous to know, or just bad? Bad as slang for “really good”? What are you doing in there at Risdon – inspecting the plumbing? Were you jailed for your beliefs – you believed the burglar alarm was disconnected – (you have probably heard that one already). I’d be interested to know more. WTH do you do all day?]
  • It’s all Obama’s fault. No, it’s those democrats. No, hang on, it’s Al Qaida. No, what about the global warming. No, it’s the drought. Did you see them throw those babies overboard?
  • keep ’em coming.
  • motivation is lacking – just going through the motions. 40 years since Ronald Ryan was hanged.
  • My first submission for many months, Dr Bob, after a number never made it through. I’ve sent emails to the Web Wrangler (cc you) but have never had a reply so let’s see if this pathetic submission bobs up in your in-box. If so, good. If not, I’ll give up permanently – and hang the consequences!
  • Nice questions
  • Okay, I’m dumb, but I’d like to know the answers. 🙂
  • Seems like I would need about a nine foot drop at my weight my neck is about five feet from the floor. Maybe I should just be shot.
  • Thanks for making me the winner, it has confirmed what I always thought; that the choice of winner is purely arbitrary.
  • The death penalty does not keep people from committing crime. It allows the state the luxury of not dealing with this person.
  • The last one really had me scratching Dr Bob. The itch is gone. Can I have my medication now please?
  • The red disclaimer indicates second thoughts about the topic – and rightly so. Bring back the chess board.
  • There are four goals of punishment. The first is the Rehabilitation of the offender, impossible if death is the sentence. The second is the Restraint of the offender to protect the general populace. Restraint is just as easily (And more cheaply) accomplished through life imprisonment. The third is Deterrence (General and Specific). Specific Deterrence is designed to prevent the offender from making the same choices again in the future, an impossibility if death is imposed. General Deterrence performs the same function but for all of society. In order to work, the punishment has to be swift, certain and severe. The death sentence is neither swift (What with all of the appeals) nor certain (For the same reason). The only goal remaining is Retribution and Society is supposed to be above petty vengeance. Besides, no legal system is infallible. I’d much rather let a man out of prison after 20 years with an “I’m sorry” over the mix-up than have to tell a dead man’s family, “Oops, our mistake!”
  • This brain left intentionally blank.
  • This months quiz seems to be easier than previous ones I have seen, so I have entered. This could become addictive which is more than can be said for being hung. On the other hand Governments can become addicted to executions.
  • Very compelling Doctor Bob!
  • Very sorry to see your, er, defensive disclaimer Dr Bob. Your loving disciples never doubted you were a paragon of virtue.
  • Well here’s a subject I know a bit about, and I’ve got a taste for victory now, so I’m going for 2 in a row. Don’t worry, I’ll post some stupid answers later in the month. Here’s some hanging facts anyway: Murderous Mary, a five-ton cow elephant was hanged in Erwin, Tennessee on September 13, 1916. In the 19th Century, workers at the graphite mines in Cumbria were searched every day after work and the punishment for stealing pencil-lead was hanging. In 1998, when Swaziland advertised for an official hangman they received 50 applications for the post from all over the world.
  • Well Hung (or is that hanged?) Bob.
  • What a fun quiz this month Dr Bob. I “gibbet” 10/10 and “take my hat” off to you. Ha. Made myself laugh. It’s very late.
  • Whats with the death, Dr Bob? Feeling strangely morose today?
  • Where have all the smart-arses gone? They all become, Volvo driving soccer mums.
  • You may be shocked by the amount of stuff I know about hanging. Or about what I do not know. Either one.
  • Your humour is definitely on a downward trend. Can we get back to iceland and girls playing chess. The best thing about this quiz is that my number’s almost a palindrome.