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Is death by guillotine painless?

The guillotine was originally designed to be a “humane and instant” form of execution — that is, if used correctly. If the blade was properly cleaned, the death would be pretty much instant.

There are claims from the French Revolution that victims would stay alive up to a minute after being beheaded, but these sources are unreliable at best. Further, nerves connecting the brain to the other parts of the body would certainly have been severed, so even in the unlikely case that a victim did survive, it wouldn’t have been painful.

However, as the guillotine was chosen as the national mode of execution during the French Revolution, it saw many, many executions per day. Often, it wasn’t cleaned properly after an execution, leaving blood on the blade. Thus, the first strike wouldn’t cut cleanly, leaving it to be used again or for the victim to bleed to death. That would have certainly been a horrible death, which many of those in the French Revolution experienced.


This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Do you think that death by guillotine was that “humane and instant”? Tell us in the comments below!

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What are your thoughts on this subject?
285 Comments
lxixwithu
That would make a fine punishment for child molesters.
220
Jun 29, 2018 4:58PM
Pamela Spallin
My question is. Why was it so necessary in the first place? The death itself may not have been painful but waiting for it would be dreadful ,horrible and painful
88
Jun 29, 2018 4:42PM
rbettis
Why is it we always hear the Bleeding Hearts when it comes to those being executed for the crimes they committed. Some How the Victim is always forgotten. Possible that is the problem with the Bleeding Heart Judicial System we now have in the United States? I have a hard time understanding how Cutting Heads off is barbaric when Plan Parent Hood helps murder Hundreds of Thousands of unborn Babies annually that never had a chance in life , paid for by our Tax Dollars, While most Criminals get far better care in Jails than most Senior Citizens get in Rest Homes..
51
Jul 24, 2018 10:38PM
Phyllis Jenkins Bertin
"An eye for an eye." Penalty of death might make those child rapists and murderers think before acting. There are less painful ways to get rid of the dregs of the earth, but I don't think we, the taxpayers, should have to feed and house those low lifes for a time, before they are 'rehabilitated' and released into the general population. Just get rid of them . . . bring back the death penalty. .!!
39
Oct 21, 2018 12:09PM
Thomas Gluszk
Great for child molesters
36
Sep 23, 2018 1:53PM
Richard Kosack
To commit a crime so heinous as to deserve the death penalty doesn’t qualify for consequent humane treatment.
26
Jul 19, 2018 4:31PM
Jess Ray Orndorff
Pamela Spallin, and I wonder if the people they killed or raped if they suffered a waiting what was to come. As far as making it painless the hell with that. Did they make it painless for the victim? In Truman Capote's book In Cold Blood he wrote perbatim what the prosecuting attorney said in his closing statement. It sums it up pretty good. "Those who showed no mercy for their victims now ask for yours. Those who shed no tears for their victims now ask for yours. Those who showed no leniency for their victims now ask for yours. Those who had no compassion or empathy for their victims now ask for yours."
14
Nov 6, 2018 4:35PM
Alan Willis
Yo should quit while you’re a head
11
Nov 28, 2018 11:19AM
Richard Jamieson
I think a show of hands is necessary to verify if it is indeed humane. Everyone who has been executed this way should raise their hands of its humane. But a nod or a wink works also. Lol
11
Jul 19, 2018 3:50AM
george taylor
ought to be bought back into service
9
Oct 6, 2021 4:45AM
sstarr
Nothing to lose your over! No
0
Jan 29, 2023 12:39PM
Kevin Fitzgerald
I scratched my "Head' thinking of an answer??
0
Oct 17, 2022 10:52AM
Ken Brown
Sadly, a jury is not infallible.rbettis,
0
Oct 13, 2022 6:32AM
Ken Brown
The trouble with execution is the judicial system which orders it. A jury of one's peers is no more infallible than a despot for determining guilt. Executing even one innocent convict is a travesty. A guillotine is by no means more infallible than its operators.
0
Oct 13, 2022 6:31AM
portraitsbytyrone
Bring it back put in public so those doing despicable crimes would see what they had coming & potentially change their mind about doing behavior that would get then publicly beheaded
0
Oct 6, 2022 11:25PM
Don Markusic
rbettis, I'm with you if there's a heartbeat if there's no heartbeat there's no person . Some people believe in a soul but that's not the same if you die instantly your soul goes to heaven , what's better than that.
0
Sep 29, 2022 4:26PM
Elsy O. Stromberg
rbettis, No. 1, I don't think the government should be murdering people- I never understood how that is not considered cruel and unusual punishment, which is forbidden in the Constitution. And no. 2, a lot of people have been unjustly convicted for something they didn't do because they couldn't afford a good lawyer to defend them. Imagine yourself in that situation!
0
Sep 29, 2022 11:14AM
Palmer Scott
For many during the Reign of Terror, the crime could being a seamstress to a noble or one of the impoverished rural nobility. Or being critical of Robespierre.
1
Aug 25, 2022 4:57PM
Norman Cummins
The good news is that the guy in the front row wants to buy you get....
0
Jul 21, 2022 4:17AM
adrienneharis
Think they ought to bring it back. Maybe people would think twice before committing a crime
2
Jun 18, 2022 5:21PM
Phil Cuthbertson
No Government or judicial organisation has the right to take another life. It is a sick barbaric country who retains the death penalty…argue that Americans….I am from NZ
3
Jun 10, 2022 5:20PM
Jeff Leonard
Most of these people’s crime was to be born into middle or upper classes….
2
Jun 10, 2022 10:10AM
Alan Borthwick
How does anyone know if its painless no come back and told anyone it was not painful at all
0
May 24, 2022 5:24PM
nanabeth
lxixwithu, to easy. They need long drawn out torture. Real pain. Like being skinned an inch at a time. Fed to red ants. Something almost as equally evil as what they have done.
0
May 22, 2022 4:52PM
Trixie - Rose
The contraption was invented by a doctor. His name was Guillotine
0
May 18, 2022 5:46AM

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