Death sentences are mostly given to prisoners who commit the harshest of crimes. Methods of execution are different among different countries and these methods include hanging, shooting by firing squad, beheading, stoning, lethal injection, gas chamber, electrocution, and falling from an unknown height. In India the legal method of execution is death by hanging. Hangings in India has an almost ritual like procedure that takes place before the hanging. Here’s what actually happens before the convict is hanged.
1) Woken up Early in the Morning
Hangings in India happen before sunrise, hence the convicts are woken up quite early in the morning, mostly at 3 am in the morning. The convicts are then asked to freshen up.
2) Allowed to take Bath
The convicts are then allowed to take bath. The convict is provided both cold and hot water to choose from and the convict is allowed to choose any of the showers based on their choice.
3) Offers Favourite Food of Convict
Also known as the last meal, convicts are allowed to eat whatever they wish to for the one last time before they die. As a last wish of the criminal going to die, they are provided with their favourite food.
4) Provides Light Refreshment
Convicts aren’t rushed to death. After having their last meal, prisoners are given some time for light refreshment. During this time the convict will be left alone for some time so that they could memorize their family members and others important to them.
5) Provides Religious Books or Recite Prayers to have a Peaceful Mind
The convicts are then given religious books based on their choice and are allowed to recite prayers to their god to have a peaceful state of mind and to be closer to god before their death.
6) Doctor Examines the Convict
Prisoners must be mentally and physically fit before hanging, hence a doctor examine the convict before the actual hanging. The hanging process can only take place if the report ensures that the convict is healthy and totally fit.
7) Lubricates the Rope for Smooth Sliding Action
The rope or the noose which is to be used to hang the prisoner id usually lubricated with cheese and ripe banana 3 days before the hanging. This lubrication will allow a smooth sliding action so that it doesn’t stretch much when the convict is hanged.
8) Prisoner is Blind-folded
The convict after been declared fit is taken to the gallows where he/she is then blindfolded by covering the convict’s face with a cotton hood or a cloth. The convict’s hands are pinioned behind their back using a handcuff and their legs are pinioned with a cord.
9) Magistrate Gives Signal
After all of the above is done, the executive magistrate then identifies the prisoner as the person named in the warrant and reads him/her a translation of the warrant in their mother tongue. The magistrate then signals the hangman to pull the lever.
10) Hangman or Lyncher is confidential
The details of the hangman are always kept confidential so that they are not troubled in the future. The lyncher also recites a small prayer before putting the hood on the convict so as the free themselves from any sense of guilt.
The convict is then hanged for 30 minutes after which the prison doctor examines the convict’s body and confirms death.