On June 17, 1939, Eugen Weidmann—a slick, handsome 31-year-old German—became the last person to be publicly executed via guillotine in France. His journey toward being a trivia-question answer started with a kidnapping gone awry, and spiraled into a deadly crime spree that spanned half of 1937.
Today, the crimes of Hannah Ocuish would be readily explained, if not outright forgiven. Her childhood incorporated all the clichés and every demographic of the youthful offender: poverty, neglect, ignorance, discrimination. Taken together, they ensured that Hannah would be a naughty little girl indeed.
Perhaps if young Thomas Granger had been more discreet, more circumspect, his name would have long since vanished in the mists of history. But in Puritan times, his unusual crime so offended his community that it warranted the harshest of punishments.
Last week’s post on Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in the UK, got us thinking about other executions that drew crowds to the prison walls. Most times, as in the Ellis case, the assembled are protesting the death penalty. Other times, the atmosphere is weirdly festive.
Ruth Ellis had a difficult life leading up to the night she shot her on-and-off boyfriend, David Blakely, in 1955. Variously described as a “model” and “nightclub hostess,” she was literally apprehended holding a smoking gun, and refused to alter her bleached-blonde locks to make a good impression during her trial.
Utah lawmakers are prepared to strap condemned criminals to this horrible chair and shoot them if they need to. They've just approved a bill that would allow the state to execute people by firing squad if there's a shortage of lethal injection chemicals needed to kill people the socially acceptable way.
Virtually every rich nation in the world has abolished the death penalty. But since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S. in 1976, courts have sentenced over 7,000 people to die. Shockingly, about 56 percent of death sentences currently come from just 2 percent of U.S. counties.
Virtually all of the 32 American states that allow the death penalty rely on a deadly chemical cocktail to slowly and quietly kill the condemned. But America has found itself running dangerously low on sodium pentothal, the injection's primary ingredient, after the only US supplier stopped making it. So how are we…
This stark, almost peaceful looking room is actually Japan's execution room. The ring on top holds the noose, the red square outlines the trapdoor and this is the first time Japan has ever shown these rooms off.
Capital punishment. Sends a chill down your spine, doesn't it? Hopefully none of our readers will ever see first-hand the following methods of execution in the following states of the US.