The argument is still raging on today. Should you punish the wicked with the extremes that they went to? Of course the victims’ families will side with capital punishment, but what kinds of punishment are there that they can choose from? Here is our countdown of the wonderful ways that certain countries execute their bad citizens.


  • Lethal Injection

The intravenous injection (Sodium thiopental, Pancuronium bromide and Potassium chloride) is usually a series of drugs given in a set sequence. This causes the prisoner to pass out; it then paralyses their lungs and muscles, evoking a heart attack.


  • Hanging

The prisoner is fitted with a hangman’s noose around their neck. They are led to a suspended frame with a built in trap door underneath them. When released the prisoner on most occasions will fall and break their neck, however in several cases those with large or strong neck muscle will die from strangulation.

Hanging is still a choice in America if the prisoner wishes it and is widely used in the Middle East to execute homosexuals.


  • Electric Chair

The prisoner is shaved, strapped to a chair, and fitted with electrodes attached to conductive sponges — one on the head, one on the leg — creating a direct current. They are then shot with 2,000 volts and it is believed that direct death comes within under 10 secs. Several witness accounts have proved this theory to be wrong as prisoners were literally cooked alive and still screaming when they turned off the voltage. They died after, of course.

Although a relic of the past it can still be an option in some American states if the prisoner wants it.


  • Beheading

The victim is restrained, usually forced to kneel, and the executioner removes the head by way of a sword or knife. Famous methods of this can be seen in France during the revolution where a guillotine was used to swiftly end the aristocratic grip of France.

The Americans have never made it a legal form of capital punishment, but interestingly, it remains the preferred method of execution in Saudi Arabia.


  • Gas Chamber

The prisoner is strapped to a chair inside a sealed gas chamber. The executioner pulls a lever dropping potassium cyanide pellets into a vat of sulphuric acid, flooding the chamber with lethal hydrogen cyanide gas.

This method has been banned in most states in the US after the supposed humane method of killing a person turned out to be incredibly painful. Sometimes taking up to ten minutes for a prisoner to die: it was deemed cruel and unusual by the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Images courtesy of Flash Gordon, Clash of the Titans and The US government

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I have worked consistently in journalism for the past six years. More than half of that at MouthLondon. I hope you enjoy reading my articles and add yours soon.

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