Discussion:
Bundy execution 30th anniversary questions
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Bryan Styble
2019-01-25 04:59:49 UTC
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As many so well remember, 30 years ago this morning this state electrocuted Ted Bundy. I was still in Los Angeles then, but followed his prosecution closely. Still I wonder:

1) Does the magnitude of jolt which electric chairs typically administer damage the brain tissue, or does it kill mainly by interfering with the heart?;

2) If Bundy's grey matter was relatively unscathed, did authorities preserve his brain for research?; and

3) If so, what sort of anomalies were evident?

Thanks in advance!

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
David Carson
2019-01-25 06:13:47 UTC
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On Thu, 24 Jan 2019 20:59:49 -0800 (PST), Bryan Styble
Post by Bryan Styble
1) Does the magnitude of jolt which electric chairs typically administer damage the brain tissue, or does it kill mainly by interfering with the heart?;
The aim of the electric chair was to cause death by fatally damaging vital
organs, first and foremost the brain. To that end, the contacts were
placed on the condemned prisoner's head and leg. The electric chair was
not designed to cause death by stopping the heart. As to what extent it
worked as designed, I don't believe I've ever read an analysis, but the
anecdotal evidence I've picked up is that it frequently did way more harm
to the body than merely stopping the heart.

David Carson
--
Dead or Alive Data Base
http://www.doadb.com
Bryan Styble
2019-01-25 19:47:43 UTC
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Well, that answers THAT.

Thanks much for your explication, David. I was clearly laboring under an incorrect assumption, always presumeing that the head-to-leg electrodes placement was so that the juice had the longest distance to traverse...although if a mere pinky in a wall socket will give you the Bundy treatment, I suppose it don't matter much where the chair's wires are "plugged in" to your body.

STYBLE/Florida
David Carson
2019-01-25 21:46:39 UTC
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On Fri, 25 Jan 2019 11:47:43 -0800 (PST), Bryan Styble
Post by Bryan Styble
Well, that answers THAT.
Thanks much for your explication, David. I was clearly laboring under an incorrect assumption, always presumeing that the head-to-leg electrodes placement was so that the juice had the longest distance to traverse...although if a mere pinky in a wall socket will give you the Bundy treatment, I suppose it don't matter much where the chair's wires are "plugged in" to your body.
When you touch a hot household electrical contact and feel a jolt from it,
that's because you're grounded somewhere. Having one finger on a hot wire
won't jolt you if you aren't touching anything else and your shoes are
sufficiently insulated. (Don't try it though, because that would be
stupid.)

I'm not sure what would happen if you closed the circuit with one
fingertip, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't feel as bad as if you closed it
by being grounded by your feet or your other hand.

David Carson
--
Dead or Alive Data Base
http://www.doadb.com
John M.
2019-01-26 02:07:49 UTC
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Post by David Carson
On Fri, 25 Jan 2019 11:47:43 -0800 (PST), Bryan Styble
Post by Bryan Styble
Well, that answers THAT.
Thanks much for your explication, David. I was clearly laboring under an incorrect assumption, always presumeing that the head-to-leg electrodes placement was so that the juice had the longest distance to traverse...although if a mere pinky in a wall socket will give you the Bundy treatment, I suppose it don't matter much where the chair's wires are "plugged in" to your body.
When you touch a hot household electrical contact and feel a jolt from it,
that's because you're grounded somewhere. Having one finger on a hot wire
won't jolt you if you aren't touching anything else and your shoes are
sufficiently insulated. (Don't try it though, because that would be
stupid.)
I once saw an electrical worker up on a ladder (insulated boots) grab
a hot wire from a pole with no ill effects. I was shocked.
Post by David Carson
I'm not sure what would happen if you closed the circuit with one
fingertip, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't feel as bad as if you closed it
by being grounded by your feet or your other hand.
Possibly a pretty intense burn on the fingertip though.


John M

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