If he were already dead (ei hdh teqnhken). Perfect active indicative with ei after a verb of wondering, a classical idiom, a kind of indirect question just as we say "I wonder if." Usually death by crucifixion was lingering. This item is only in Mark. Whether he had been any while dead (ei palai apeqanen). B D read hdh (already) again here instead of palai (a long time). Mark does not tell the request of the Jews to Pilate that the legs of the three might be broken ( John 19:31-37 ). Pilate wanted to make sure that Jesus was actually dead by official report.