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January 9, 1909


JAMA. 1909;LII(2):140-141. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540280054008

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The question of the efficiency of the execution of criminals by electric current is again being agitated in the east. The old claims are being made that the electric current does not destroy life, but that the real execution in these cases is death by postmortem examination, by burial or by some other extraordinary extraneous occurrence. For this reason it has been seriously proposed, according to the newspapers, to attempt to revive electrocuted criminals. One can hardly object to such a test on the ground of humanity, but the fact that electrocution is successful no serious-minded person who has looked into the subject can doubt. The few instances reported of individuals who have recovered after accidental exposure to electric currents of very high voltage are hardly pertinent to the case, and it is known that such accidents are usually fatal in spite of the differences of individual resistance and other

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