Half-hanging is a method of torture, usually inflicted to force information from the victim, in which a rope is pulled tightly around the victim’s neck and then slackened when the victim becomes unconscious. The victim is revived and the process repeated.
It was used by British forces in Ireland, most notably against suspected supporters of the Society of the United Irishmen after the failed 1798 rebellion. Among the most notorious of half-hangings from this period was that of Anne Devlin, housekeeper to Robert Emmet.
- John Smith (housebreaker), who earned the nickname Half-hanged Smith after surviving a sentence of hanging