The first person to be executed in the United States by lethal gas was Gee Jon, on February 8, 1924.
1. Capital punishment and penal
2. Why Does the State Punish ?
3. TYPES OF CAPITAL
• In the 18th Century BC, the
Code of King Hammurabi
(murder was not one of them)
• The first death sentence
occurred in 16th Century
• In the 14th Century BC, the
Hittite Code also prescribed
the death penalty
5. 7th Century BC…
Draconian Code of Athens
• Athenian lawgiver whose harsh legal code
punished both trivial and serious crimes
in Athens with death.
• Origin of the word DRACONIAN laws.
• Laws originally meant for ‘hoplites’.
6. 5th Century BC…
• Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets codified the death
• Death penalty was mainly reserved for slaves and
• Common modes of capital punishment:– Beheading
• The Roman ruling class monetised the practice of
capital punishment by making it a public spectacle…
7. 3rd Century AD…
• Roman empire replaced by
Holy Roman Empire.
• Ruled by Constantine.
• Abolishment of crucifixion.
• Laws became lenient.
• Islam was born.
• The Shariat law
• Beheading and stoning.
8. The Mongols
• Death penalty reserved mainly for treason.
• Quartering was the preferred mode of
9. Dark Ages…
• The Christian Church ruled whole of Europe.
• The Church invented innovative ways of
• Burning at the stake.
• Death penalty was given
mainly for heresy.
10. Colonial Era…
• Europe and North America were the most
powerful regions in the world.
• Modern laws .
• Hanging was main mode of
• Crushing by elephant and
11. French Revolution
• Guillotine was widely used in France as a quick and
painless way to behead a person.
• King Louis XVI was one of the famous personalities to be
killed by the guillotine.
• The last public execution by guillotine was in 1931.
12. The Electric Chair
• The chair was first adopted in
1889 and the first execution
took place in 1890 in New York.
• The prisoner is strapped to the
chair with metal straps in front
of an audience and a wet
sponge is placed on his head to
• In several instances, the
subjects were killed only after
being subjected to multiple
13. The Firing Squad
• Considered by many to be the most honorable method of
execution, which is why it is specifically never used on war criminals.
• The method is often the supreme punishment or disciplinary means
employed for crimes such as treason, desertion, or mutiny.
• If the condemned does not die, he is given a Coup de Grace or ‘Blow of
• Arguably the world’s oldest form of execution.
• It is an authorized form of execution in many middle eastern and
• It is primarily enforced
by Islamic fundamentalist
• The stones must not be large
enough to cause a quick death
but also not small enough to
inflict little pain.
• Stoning continues to face strong opposition for its barbaric nature.
15. The Gas Chamber
• The Gas Chamber were first used in the 1920’s as a method of execution
in the USA.
• A gas chamber is an apparatus for executing
people by placing them in a sealed chamber
where poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced.
• By the 1980s, reports of suffering during gas
chamber executions had led to controversy
over the use of this method.
• By the late 20th century, most states had switched to methods
considered to be more humane, such as lethal injection.
16. Lethal Injection
• It is the most common form of execution in the United
States of America today.
• Drugs are injected manually by the executioner and not
by machine to safeguard against mechanical failure.
• The executioner injects three drugs in sequence:
– 5g Pentothol which is intended to induce a coma
– 100mg Pancuronim bromide which causes paralysis
– 100mEq Potassium chloride which causes Cardiac Arrest
• The Lethal Injection is still not completely fail-safe.
17. United Nations Moratorium on The
• It calls on States that maintain the death penalty to establish a
moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
• Resolution passed in 2010 with 109 for and 41 against.
• Draft resolution was passed to abolish the death penalty; India was
among 39 countries that voted against the death penalty.
18. The Way Forward
• Norway’s $280 million Halden
– Televisions, refrigerators, desi
– Aims to teach convicts how to
live like normal human beings
• Norway has the 10th lowest
murder rate in the world.
• The benefits of reform
exemplified in the Tihar Jail
19. To Kill or not to kill
That is the question
20. Some funny last words.
How about this for a headline for
tomorrow's paper? French fries.
Executed in electric chair in Oklahoma.
~~ James French, d. 1966
I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got
spaghetti. I want the press to know this.
Executed by injection, Oklahoma.
~~ Thomas J. Grasso, d. March 20, 1995