Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.
Chapter 35: A History of Execution Methods in the United States
A History of Execution Methods in the United States
It certainly seems strange that a nation so advanced in science and engineering… should not be able to invent something better than the crude electric chair. Perhaps it is that every country chooses the method of execution most suitable to the temperament of its people.
Charles Duff, A Handbook on Hanging, 1928
The penalty of death as a formal sanction for certain crimes has been applied in the United States throughout much of the nation's history. Although the death penalty is employed by half of the countries in the world, the United States is unique in that over time and across the country, the methods used to mete out this ...