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Electrical Death

Death resulting from electricity discharged through the animal system. The exact conditions requisite for fatal results have not been determined. High electro-motive force is absolutely essential; a changing current, pulsatory or alternating, is most fatal, possibly because of the high electro-motive force of a portion of each period. Amperage probably has something to do with it, although the total quantity in coulombs may be very small. As applied to the execution of criminals, the victim is seated in a chair and strapped thereto. One electrode with wet padded surface is placed against his head or some adjacent part. Another electrode is placed against some of the lower parts, and a current from an alternating dynamo passed for 15 seconds or more. The potential difference of the electrodes is given at 1,500 to 2,000 volts, but of course the maximum may be two or three times the measured amount, owing to the character of the current.