Crime and Punishment - The Story of Capital Punishment

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Timeshift, Series 10 Episode 9 of 9

Duration: 1 hour

Timeshift digs into the archive to trace the extraordinary story of the ultimate sanction. At the beginning of the 19th century you could still be hanged in Britain for offences such as stealing a sheep or shooting a rabbit. Even children as young as seven were sent to the gallows. The last hanging in this country took place as recently as 1964.

By opting for a dispassionate history rather than staging the usual polarised debate, the programme breaks new ground with its fascinating attention to detail, such as the protocols of the public execution or the 'science' of hanging. With contributions from both sides of the argument, it provides an essential guide to a subject that still divides us.

Music Played

17 items
  • Learn more

    Learn more

    Test your judgement on the OU's fictional interactive courtcase "What's Your Verdict?"

    Go to The Open University: What's Your Verdict? page
  • BBC Four Justice Season

    BBC Four Justice Season

    This programme is part of the BBC Four Justice Season, a wide-ranging debate on the state of justice in Britain and the world today.

    Go to the BBC Four Justice Season website
  • The Hangman's Noose

    The Hangman's Noose

  • Execution in Victorian prison c.19th

    Execution in Victorian prison c.19th

  • Electric Chair in USA

    Electric Chair in USA

  • China is estimated to have the highest rate of state exections in the World

    China is estimated to have the highest rate of state exections in the World

  • Derek Bentley executed in 1955

    Derek Bentley executed in 1955

  • Ruth Ellis executed in 1953

    Ruth Ellis executed in 1953

Credits

Producer
Francis Welch
Series Producer
Ben Southwell
Executive Producer
Michael Poole
Narrator
Denis Lawson

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