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Burning at the stake

Decapitation



The two oldest most brutal forms of execution has to be burning at the stake and decapitation.  These two forms were used in the 19th century into the early 20th.  Their usage ceased due to the new developments of technology and outcries of cruel and unusual punishment.  With the easier, less gruesome forms of capital punishment coming into existence these obsolete practices were halted all together.


Burning at the stake is commonly associated with witches.  If one was convicted of a crime they would be burned at the stake.  The condemned would be tied to a long shaft surrounded by wood and kindling.  The pile beneath them would be lit on fire and the flames would climb engulfing the victim and eventually kill them.  The whole process is a slow and painful death used most famously in the Salem Witch Trials.

Decapitation was accomplished by the use of the guillotine.  The guillotine was invented by a Dr. Guillotine in France.  It was used primarily during the French Revolution to execute the prisoners that were convicted of treason.  As most of you already know, the convicted's head was placed at the base of a razor sharp blade.  When the blade was released it would come down on it's victim, cutting their head off at the shoulders.