Among the methods of execution, electric chair is one of the most horrifying. Electric chair was developed as an alternative to hanging and used for the first time in 1890. However, as humanity matured, we have come to realize that electric chair is no better than other forms of execution such as hanging and shooting. This is why electric chair is either banned or listed as a secondary option. Only some states allow it to be used based on specific terms and conditions. As of now, death by lethal injection is the preferred method of execution.
It makes us wonder how it will feel like to be in electric chair. How death occurs and how painful it may be? To answer such questions, here are some shocking things to know about death by electric chair.
The body cooks inside out – As electricity passes through a person, it starts to generate heat. There have been instances where bodies of prisoners had caught fire on electric chair.
Cause of death – It was earlier believed that death on electric chair was caused due to extensive brain damage. However, later studies indicated that death was likely due to cardiac arrest precipitated by ventricular fibrillation. As of now, what exactly causes death in electric chair remains debatable.
Might take more than one jolt of electricity – There have been cases where prisoners have survived the first electric shock. They may have lost consciousness, but their hearts were still found to be beating. Such cases required multiple attempts to carry out the execution order. Such cases were either due to human error or based on individual capacity of the person.
Eyeballs pop out – This may sound fictional, but it is in fact quite true. Due to extreme heat, the eyeballs might melt or pop-out of the head. This is why prisoners used to have their eyes strapped prior to execution on electric chair.
Cooling period – Coroners have to wait for the body to cool down before an autopsy can be performed. That’s because the body heats up considerably after execution by electric chair. Internal parts of the body may be hot enough to cause blisters to anyone who touches it.
Convulsions – An individual on electric chair experiences uncontrollable convulsions. These are so strong that it can cause fractures and dislocations. That’s why prisoners are strapped tight on the electric chair before execution.
Involuntary bowel release – A number of involuntary functions may be triggered such as urination and defecation. Some people may also vomit blood.
We should be thankful that such extreme methods of execution are not used nowadays. Capital punishment is itself debatable and needs to be used only in rarest of rare cases.