Throughout history, cultures around the world have found justice for the most extreme crimes by condemning the guilty to death. Retribution has been sought by many methods, from beheading, garroting, entombment, and burning to modern means such as electrocution and lethal injection. For the infliction of torturous pain, even more ingenious devices have been employed. While torture has usually been carried out behind closed doors, it is only recently that executions have ceased to be a popular public spectacle.
The History of Torture and Execution examines these fascinating but grisly subjects by time, region, and method. Beginning with the often crude methods of meting out justice used by early and first-millennium civilizations, and evolving from the sadistic tools of the medieval age to the modern search for humane execution methods, controversial issues are authoritatively covered. More than 180 black-and-white and color images illustrate the many and varied engines of this final punishment, and the inclusion of stories told by the victims themselves gives chilling insight into the horrors faced by prisoners condemned to die for their crimes.show more