The death penalty: a variety of ways

Miscellaneous gogge83 August 30, 2016 0 0
For centuries, people who have committed a crime, be sentenced to death. Today this is no longer possible in many countries, but in several countries later. There are many ways in which death row inmates have to undergo their death. Some of them are: the electric chair, lethal injection, hanging, decapitation by guillotine, drowning, burning, stoning, shoot and break on the wheel.

The death penalty

The death penalty can be done in many ways. Some of these are still used, other methods have been abolished centuries ago. A number of death sentences have been carried out:
  • Suspension
  • Drowning
  • Combustion
  • Break on the wheel
  • Stoning
  • Guillotine
  • The electric chair
  • Lethal injection
  • Shoot


A commonly used and widespread method for carrying out the death penalty, was suspension. Especially in the Middle Ages, many criminals punished in this way. Suspension has been used in many countries around the world, including Russia, Germany, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Bulgaria, Japan, Israel, Iraq and the Netherlands.
When hanging a convict gets a rope around his neck, and in different ways can be used. Earlier, the convicted drawn up after the rope had gotten his neck, and he slowly suffocated. Later mainly used a trap, so they died quickly. Much research has been done to calculate the height of the fall. A short fall makes for a slow death, too long a trap can provide a beheading.
Because suspension was not seen as a humane way to execute the death penalty, which was abolished in several countries in recent centuries. In the Netherlands found the suspension last place in 1860, when John Nathan was hanged because he had killed his mother. In Germany, the last person was hanged in 1951. This has included war criminals. In other countries suspension is still used, as in Pakistan and Malaysia.


This form of punishment was used mostly in Europe. This happened a lot in the Middle Ages. Drowning was seen as the least cruel method of execution, and it was most often used in women, although men could get the death penalty. A death row inmate could be thrown into the water after he was put in a bag or was weighted with weights. Another way was to stop someone in a barrel with water and then close to the ton. Around the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was abolished drowning. Thus England stopped using this method in 1623 and Iceland in 1777.


A method which is also much in the Middle Ages and was used in the Renaissance, was burning. For this purpose, usually made a pyre on which the condemned was tied to a pole protruding from the firewood. Especially alleged witches and heretics burned at the stake. Between 1450 and 1750 were in Europe and also in North America, many women suspected of witchcraft that others would do them harm. Many witches ?? ?? confessed to the charges after torture. The result was that they were condemned to the stake. Also heretics, or people who were accused of that they had a different religion or belief than the existing order, often received this punishment. If the condemned showed remorse, he was strangled possible first and then burnt, otherwise he was burned alive.

Break on the wheel

Another gruesome method mainly used in the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century it was broken on the wheel. Also in the Netherlands were able to get these people sentenced to death penalty. For example, that was true for the Zwolle Jacomina Jannes, who was convicted for the stabbing death of her husband and two children. On May 24, 1728 was the implementation of the enactment. Jacomina was broken on the wheel. Here the condemned was tied to a wheel. Then an iron bar by an executioner used to break all the bones in one's limbs. Then a blow to the heart region could be given, causing someone's death. It could also be that the break on the wheel ended with a beheading, as was the case with Jacomina Jannes. Someone could, however, still half alive abandoned or thrown into the sea. The broken on the wheel is a death penalty is no longer carried out.


Stoning is seen as a very cruel way to execute the death penalty. In this method, the condemned tied to a pole or partially buried in the ground, after which a group of people just so long throw stones at the convict until he dies of the injuries. This means a slow and painful death. There are reports of stoning as capital punishment which date from the times of ancient Greeks, so the method has been around for centuries. Later stoning mainly used in Islam. Again, stoning is still practiced in some countries, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Somalia.


The introduction of the guillotine as a method of execution took place in 1789 and was first used effectively in 1792. The device was invented much earlier. So the ax in the Middle Ages was already in Germany, England and Scotland used as a method of execution. A similar device was used in the fifth century BC by the Persians. The name guillotine was not yet used. This happened only in the eighteenth century when the French were looking for a more humane way to execute the death penalty. According to the doctor Guillotin took the ax for a quick and painless death. The guillotine was introduced, in which the chopper was equipped with a pitched blade. This allows the neck of a condemned man was not cut off, but cut. Due to the plea of ​​Guillotin for this method the ax from the time derisively called guillotine, where Guillotin was not pleased with. He may not even be a proponent of the death penalty. In France, so cut off the head with thousands of people. In the Netherlands, under French rule, four people beheaded by the guillotine. Also nazi ?? s have frequently used the device created.

The electric chair

On August 6, 1890 for the first time an electric chair used to execute a death sentence. The chair was produced by Harold P. Brown and its use was approved in 1888 by the state of New York. The design was a response to a question from the State of New York in 1881 to devise a more humane way for the death penalty than suspension, which was widely used at that time. When the electric chair is the condemned firmly put on the chair and there are electrodes attached to his body. Next, there will be an electric current passed through the body, wherein the first shock for immediate loss of consciousness should provide. The second shock is intended to cause fatal injury to the vital organs.
The American William Kemmler was the one who first had to undergo this method of execution. He was convicted of murder and chop into pieces of a woman. However, this had not been the first execution proceeded as quickly and humanely as intended. After seventeen seconds was Kemmler be unconscious, but not dead. After two attending physicians confirmed this, was instructed Kemmler again immediately put under power. However, the generator would need to recharge time, so that there is not direct a new shock could be administered. The full execution finally took so ?? s eight minutes.
The United States, along with the Philippines, the only two countries where the electric chair is used for carrying out the death penalty. Despite the not so well first execution took other US states this method over so that it even became the most common method. Since the early 80 ?? of the twentieth century the lethal injection began to take over this position. In some US states an offender may however still choose the electric chair.

Lethal injection

Following the introduction of different methods that would be less cruel, but was still looking for a way that was more humane. This was found in the lethal injection. This was first used in 1982 in Texas. Charlie Brooks, convicted of kidnapping and murder, was the first person who received the lethal injection. The offender is tied up in this method on a bed, after which the lethal substances are administered by means of a drip. The lethal injection is now used in several US states and has become the most common method. Other countries have adopted lethal injection as China in 1997 and the Philippines in 1999. The Philippines have the death penalty is now abolished altogether, however.


This method of carrying out the death penalty is used primarily in times of war and militarily. A convict is slain in this case by a firearm. Often a fusillade is carried out by means of a firing. A group of people, often consisting of soldiers, firing a firearm all at the same time a convict. The convict is usually blindfolded or capped. Sometimes, one or more members of the firing squad just empty talk in their firearms without mentioning who this is the case. At first, this makes prosecuting members of the platoon harder, because that is not fixed who has shot. The gunners themselves can so all believe that they were one with the loose baggy.
A number of countries where the shooting was done are Cuba, Finland, Mexico, Italy, the USA, Syria, South Africa, Belgium, Indonesia and the Netherlands. For instance, during World War II in the Netherlands as ?? s three thousand people were executed by German firing squads. In some countries, such as Cuba and Indonesia, convicts can still be shot.

Other cruel ways

In addition to the above methods are applied in many other ways. As you could be condemned in some parts of Africa to ants. The convict was then tied to a anthill. This was an anthill with carnivorous ants that had eaten up the criminal in a short time. The ancient Greeks used the Copper Taurus ?? ??. This was an image of a bull, which was hollow inside. The convict was stopped herein, after which a fire was stoked underneath the image. In this method, it took much longer than the stake to kill the victims.
A third way was ever used in Persia. Convicts could be here tied up in a boat or hollow log. They were then smeared with honey, and they were forced to eat much honey. This caused diarrhea. Then the boat was pushed water. Many insects came down on it and after a while even laid eggs in the body of the condemned. It could take a few days before someone died by the insects, dehydration, starvation and infections.