Hanging, a method used to put persons to death as punishment for serious crimes. The condemned person mounts a scaffold where the neck is placed in a noose, which is tied with a hangman's knot. A trap door is released, the prisoner drops, and the shock breaks the upper bones of the spinal column, causing instant death.
Hanging was long the common method of putting persons to death, and is still used in some places. For the most part, however, it was replaced in the 20th century by other methods of execution, including electrocution, lethal injection, and use of the gas chamber.