10 Unusual Methods of Capital Punishment


Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by judicial process as a punishment for an offence. Execution of criminals and political opponents has been used by nearly all societies—both to punish crime and to suppress political dissent. We have previously seen 10 most torturous methods of execution, and now we have the 10 unusual methods for it ever used.

 

10. Pendulum


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The pendulum was an instrument of capital punishment used by the Spanish Inquisition. Although invented to cause maximum pain before death, the pendulum was also used to induce psychological fear into the victim, thereby extracting a quick confession. The victim was first secured to a wooden bench with ropes so that it was impossible for him to move. Above the victim was a crescent-shaped blade which would begin swinging to and from. Gradually the bar to which the blade was attached would be lowered bringing it closer and closer to the victim’s abdomen. It would usually be at this point that the victim would confess. If no confession was made, the blade would continue to lower until it began cutting through the victim’s torso. Eventually, the victim would be cleaved in two.

 

9. Immurement


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Immurement is a form of capital punishment where a person is walled up within a building and left to die from starvation or dehydration. This is distinct from being buried alive, in which the victim typically dies of asphyxiation. The folklore of many Southeastern European peoples refers to immurement as the mode of death for the victim sacrificed during the completion of a construction project, such as a bridge or fortress. Many Bulgarian and Romanian folk songs describe a bride offered for such purposes, and her subsequent pleas to the builders to leave her hands and breasts free, that she might still nurse her child. Later versions of the songs revise the bride’s death; her fate to languish, entombed in the stones of the construction, is transmuted to her nonphysical shadow, and its loss yet leads to her pining away and eventual death.

 

8. Lapidation

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Lapidation, is a form of capital punishment whereby a group throws stones at a person until the person dies. No individual among the group can be identified as the one who kills the subject. This is in contrast to the case of a judicial executioner. It is slower than other forms of execution, and hence is a form of execution by torture.

 

7. Breaking Back


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A form of capital punishment was merely to break the back of the criminal and leave him to die of thirst. It was a Mongolian method of execution that avoided the spilling of blood on the ground.

 

6. Iron Maiden


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An Iron Maiden is an iron cabinet constructed to kill or torture the condemned. The iron cabinet was built with sharp objects like spikes, knives or nails inside of it. An individual was placed inside standing and the doors of the cabinet were closed repeatedly forcing bleeding and punctures until death due to blood loss or lack of oxygen should lungs be punctured. This form of capital punishment was used throughout the 18th Century in England.

 

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