Hoaxes & Rumors

Did the Government Purchase 30,000 Guillotines?

Did the Government Purchase 30,000 Guillotines?

A claim circulating on the internet claims that the government has purchased 30,000 guillotines, and that Georgia has passed a law providing for guillotine executions.

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We found no evidence to support these claims.

Among the claims being made are:

  • The use of guillotines for “governmental purposes” was lobbied for and passed in the U.S. Congress
  • The information we received is that 15,000 are currently stored in Georgia and 15,000 in Montana
  • Are the beheadings by muslims today meant to desensitize us against U.S. Government beheadings in the future?

30,000 Guillotines

The assertion are made that the government ordered 30,000 guillotines is made without providing reference to any law or expenditure report, either proposed or passed. We found no evidence that Congress approved the purchase of 30,000 guillotines for beheadings.

It should be noted that the word “guillotine” refers not only to the head-chopping variety, but other tools and cutters. Could someone have seen an expenditure regarding paper cutters?

Moreover, aircraft ejection seats also use a “guillotine system” as described in this description of Martin Baker ejection seats:

In order to reduce the number of operations necessary when making a manual separation after ejection, a guillotine system of disconnecting the parachute withdrawal line from the drogue was introduced.

There is no evidence whatsoever that the U.S. government has purchased 30,000 guillotines, aside from a blog post which claims it’s true. The post claims that these assertions were made by former FBI agent Ted Gunderson, who passed away in 2011.

This image has been used as an illustration in some blog posts. It's actually a work of by American artist Tom Sachs.

This image has been used as an illustration in some blog posts. It’s actually a work of by American artist Tom Sachs.

Georgia HB 1274
There is a citation of Georgia HB 1274 regarding the use of guillotines as an option for prisoners who wished to donate their organs. The claim is true that this bill presented in 1996 by Georgia State Representative Doug Teper.

The bill was designed to amend Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

Though it made it to a second reading on January 22, 1996, it was never passed. Teper also introduced HB 1085 that same year to provide for televised executions. It, too, failed to pass.

Bottom Line
There is no evidence that 30,000 guillotines were purchased by the US government, and Georgia HB 1274 was never passed.


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