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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

HANGING

151

2.   Whether  the  Hanging   was   Suicidal,   Homicidal   or   Accidental—

Hanging is usually suicidal. Of thirty-two cases of hanging that came under
my" observation during a period of over six years, thirty were suicidal. One
was suspended after murder and in the other there was presumption of
homicide.

Blindness or age is no bar to
suicidal hanging. A blind man
of seventy-five committed sui-
cide by suspending himself
from a branch, of a tree in
Lucknow. After chastisement
or some other violence children
are known to have committed
suicide by hanging from shame
or grief. A case occurred in
Jubbulpore, where a Muslim
lad, 12 years old, quarrelled
with his elder brother one
night, and committed suicide by
hanging himself from the ceil-
ing of his house the next day.2
In his annual report for the
year 1939, the Chemical Exa-
miner, Madras, also reports a
case in which a girl, aged ten
years, committed suicide by
hanging. Sometimes, hanging
is adopted as a last resort, after
other forms of suicide, e.g. cut-
ting of the throat or ingestion
of poison, have failed to pro-
duce the desired effect. In

Fig. 44.—Side view showing the ligature
mark of hanging in the neck and drib-
bling of saliva from the right angle of
the mouth.

December 1916, a Hindu girl, aged 16 years, first took poison, then tried to
cut her throat and lastly, gathering courage, hanged herself,

Hgnajpidal hanging, though rare, has been recorded. Usually more than
one person are combined in the act, unless the victim is a child, or very
weak and feeble, or is rendered unconscious by some intoxicating or nar-
cotic drug. In a case where resistance has been offered, marks of violence
on the body^Sffl marks of a struggle or footprints of several persons at or
near the place of the occurrence are likely to be found.

" Lynching " is the form of homicidal hanging which is confined to the
Southern States of America. When a Negro is accused of having com-
mitted some serious offence, e.g. rape upon a white girl, the mob get en-
raged, take him from the police custody and hang linn by means of a rope
from a tree or some similar object.

Accidental hanging is extremely rare. It has occurred among children
during""play while imitating judicial hanging, or among athletes who are in
the habit of exhibiting hanging.

ILLUSTRATIVE CASES

Suspension after Murder.—1.   In June 1916, the body of a Hindu male, aged 3ft
years, was brought to the Agra Medical School Mortuary with a police report feit Hie
deceased committed suicide by banging.   Post-mortem examination showed ejca
of the skin of t£e scrotum, especially on tlie left side and effusion of clotted blood
about the left testicle, which appeared to have been crushed.    There was a

2.   Hmdusfam Times, Jan. &» 1933, p. 3.