Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For other meanings of the term, see executioner (disambiguation).
An executioner is a person who carries out a death sentence for the state, usually when presented with a warrant authorizing or ordering him to execute the sentence. The warrant protects the executioner from the charge of murder. The image that comes usually to people's minds is of a hooded medieval executioner.
Since executions in France persisted until 1977 and were not abolished until 1981, France had an official executioner. Marcel Chevalier was the last executioner of France. France used the Guillotine from during the French Revolution until 1981.
Executioners in society
In Europe, executioners have usually been shunned by their neighbours. This attitude can be observed in numerous novels and films, for instance in Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers or in the film La veuve de Saint-Pierre (The Widow of Saint-Pierre ) in which executioners, who are minor characters, were ostracized by villagers. Interestingly, societies in Asia, Africa, The Americas, and the Pacific seem to display no such prejudice towards executioners, even when, as in North America, there is significant and vocal opposition to the death penalty itself.
See also List of executioners
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