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Hangings are most commonly associated with capital punishment.  Made famous by the old war movies and famous westerns in which the convicted stood on a platform with a noose tied around their neck.  We all picture the condemned standing on a platform with a rope tied around their neck.  Then when the executioner called for it, a trap door beneath the feet of the victim opened up...

The movies have done considerably accurate descriptions of the events of execution by means of hanging.  Once the trap door opened the person sentenced to death fell to the ground.  Before they hit the noose would catch hold of their head, when all goes well snapping their neck killing them almost instantaneously.  But in this imperfect world the victim may survive the initial drop and have to literally hang around and wait until they lost consciousness and died of suffocation. 

Death by Hanging is still a lawful means of execution in the states of Delaware, New Hampshire, and Washington.  However it is reserved as a substitute means if the Lethal Injection is ever held as unconstitutional or cannot be administered.