1964: Gwynne Owen Evans and Peter Anthony Allen, England’s last hangings 1936: Rainey Bethea, America’s last public hanging

Themed Set: At the End of the Rope

August 13th, 2008 Headsman

Every entry on this blog is, of course, an ending of a sort.

But some endings are more final than others.

For centuries in the British Empire and its descendant countries, the hanging — and especially the public hanging — were the very image of the death penalty; its most characteristic venue at the corner of Hyde Park is still marked with a stone.

For many reasons, that model changed in the 19th and 20th centuries: gradually and unevenly, hangings moved behind prison walls or were replaced with (purportedly) more humane methods, even as capital punishment itself came under pressure.

For the remainder of the week, Executed Today remembers a few milestones in the changing landscape of hanging under English-inspired jurisprudence in the mid-20th century.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: Themed Sets

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