17

This is a legal issue that is perhaps better for Law SE than History SE (I'm on both sites). Mary Surratt was found guilty of "conspiracy" to kill Lincoln. Under that legal theory, being part of a conspiracy to commit a crime is tantamount to actually committing the crime if one person actually does, or tries to do so. Surratt was convicted largely on ...


17

tl;dr Nobody knows. If you haven't found anything conclusive, you are not alone: there's no agreement among the historians, either. Some say Lenin was not at all responsible, that the execution was sanctioned by the local government and that Lenin and the top party members were informed about that post factum. Some say Lenin was the one who gave the orders. ...


14

This answer is thoroughly non original, as it is drawn extensively from Wikipedia's article on the topic. According to this source, Tuscany officially abolished the death penalty in 1786. Of course, this presumably does not count, because Tuscany was later absorbed into Italy, which reinstated it in Tuscany in 1927 under the Fascist regime. So, again ...


11

Book 22 of the Homeric Odyssey contains a rather graphic description of how Telemachus hanged his father’s unfaithful maidservants. The Odyssey is of course a work of fiction, but it is reasonable to see this passage as evidence for the use of hanging as a judicial punishment at that time. Current scholarship puts the Homeric poems between 750 and 600 BC. ...


10

The key distinction was not between beheading and hanging, but rather "good" and "bad" beheading and "good" and "bad" hanging. Which in turn depended on the skill of the executioner. More highly regarded people got the more skillful executioners and the "better" forms of execution. During the Middle Ages, using an axe was a "good" beheading (for its time). ...


8

It is hard to answer your question. Are you asking about the biggest empire that never ever had capital punishment during its entire existence as an empire? The problem with that would be defining what counts as an empire and also in some cases defining how long an empire lasted. It seems to me that the longer an empire lased, the more likely it would be ...


8

New World Encyclopedia: [in 19th century Germany]... victim being decapitated either face up or down depending on how the executioner predicted they would react to the sight of the machine The strongest support for aristocrats being guillotined face-up comes from the joke: A commoner, an aristocrat, and a scholar (or engineer - but not a ...


8

I know the cat garden in Dubrovnik has one, I even took a photo of it myself:


7

I'd guess you're mainly referring to the Elizabethan Act of Uniformity and related laws from the same period which set out the church laws and their connection to the state. Some of the provisions in the Act of Uniformity were repealed or modified in 1650 by the Rump Parliament and Cromwell. They were replaced by other restrictive laws, such as the ...


7

One reason is that hanging is regarded to be one of the more disgraceful ways to kill a person, normally reserved for petty criminals, while beheading or shooting was regarded to be more 'honorable'. In a notable case, Admiral John Byng was executed by firing squad, after having been judged guilty of 'not having done his utmost' in the Battle of Minorca. ...


5

From Robert Messie "Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty." (If you do not know, Ilyich in this context means Lenin.) The link between the party leaders in Moscow who authorized the murder and the Ural Soviet which determined the time and method of execution was later described by Trotsky. He explained that he had ...


5

Question: Under what legal theory was Mary Surratt hanged as an assassin of President Lincoln in 1865? Short Answer: Mary Surratt was convicted as a conspirator who helped plan, provision, and had fore knowledge of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Detailed Answer: Prior to Lincoln's assasination John Wilkes Booth and David Herold, had stashed two ...


5

The question breaks down into two parts: Why a swordsman instead of an axeman, and why the swordsman of Calais. I now believe that the answer I posted earlier was only partially correct. This source offers a more likely answer, that "Henry did not care about Anne's feelings," and that he chose the sword as "the symbol of Camelot, of a rightful king." On ...


5

The youngest that I can find evidence of was Irving Hanchett, executed in Florida at 15 on 5/6/1910. Irving Hanchett, barely 15 years of age, was executed by Florida in 1910. Only three months elapsed between his crime (the murder of a teenaged girl who rejected his advances) and his execution. Hanchett had just moved to Florida from Connecticut and ...


5

To make a long story short, it appears as though two things happened: A man convicted of the death penalty gave a moving speech (or perhaps sang a hymn) which convinced the crowd that capital punishment was a travesty. At roughly the same time, Canada put a Detroit resident to death for a crime which was later confessed to by another man on his death bed. ...


4

Massacre of Verden in 782 may be seen as the execution 4,500 Saxons by Charlemagne for being in breach of Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, a law forbidding paganism. This was in the context of a revolt and the 4,500 were surrendered by the Saxons forces upon capitulation. It may not be what the questioner is after as they weren't given anything ...


4

Cursory googling suggests they were always face down during the French Revolution. The Aftermath of the French Revolution by James R Arnold, for instance, notes in the Robespierre entry that: According to legend, he was placed face up in the guillotine (prisoners were typically placed down). But then, he - and other internet references I ran into - ...


3

Humayun, son of the first Mughal Emperor Babur, has been credited with the first execution by firing squad. Over one hundred prisoners of war were captured along with around eight war elephants. However, unlike after previous battles, these prisoners were not bonded or freed; by decree from Humayun, they were shot. In His memoirs Babur recorded the ...


3

Unfortunately, I had trouble finding a source of evidence to link to you for this, but I recall that, in a high school US History class, we watched a documentary on the death penalty, and it covered the history of it. There were some hand-painted signs advertising the killing of a known convict, but I can't recall what period they were from. That said, the ...


3

It is certainly possible that, if one considers persons put to death by the civil and military officials of the Confederate States of America to be legally executed instead of murdered, the youngest white person executed would be a victim of the CSA during the four violent years of its existence. As an example; Some German Americans resisted the ...


3

It is extremely hard to put an estimate on this. Firstly it's impossible to know how many civilians he killed (probably unwillingly) during battle, so I will just ignore that. Then your wording implies that you consider all civilians in-guilty or undeserving of the death penalty; Some states of the US have a different opinion. It is generally agreed upon ...


2

The largest case of a nation using a proper legal system I can think of is following the Third Servile War, the famous slave revolt led by Spartacus, the Romans condemned and executed the remaining 6,000 rebel slaves that had not been slain in battle. The slaves involved were gladiators, so it was difficult to crush the revolt. Slaves are civilians, even if ...


2

The first recorded use of judicial hanging is in the Persian Empire approximately 2,500 years ago.2 [New World Encyclopedia]1 (Aside: Note that the reference is to " Richard Clark"The process of judicial hanging", Capital Punishment U.K. Retrieved April 15, 2007.", which is not currently available; you might want to check the wayback machine) Mosaic Law ...


1

Cutting off a head in one blow is somewhat harder than it may sound; the main issues are that the vertebrae are hard bones and unless the executioner is skilled he could miss, hitting the head or back instead. If the executioner misses by even an inch things can get very messy. In those days a class of professional executioners existed who used specialized ...


1

Primitive Norse and Germanic Cultures used ritual hanging to dedicate prisoners to the Gods, Odin or Wotan. From Wikipedia: Odin Worship among the Germans Human sacrifices were very frequently offered to Odin, especially prisoners taken in battle. The most common method of sacrifice was by hanging the victim on a tree; and in the poem Hdvamfil ...


1

As some of the comments have pointed out, the difference between the US and other countries is not quite as extreme as implied by the question. It's also not really true that the US in general has capital punishment. Only a fraction of the states have death penalties that are actually carried out in practice. However, it's true that the US has the world's ...


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