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Crime and Punishment - The Story of Capital Punishment

Documentary tracing the story of the ultimate sanction, examining such matters as the protocols of the public execution and the 'science' of hanging.

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.

1 hour

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:08


    Safe In Mind (Please Get This Gun From Out My Face)

  • 00:22

    Makeup and Vanity Set

    A Glowing Light, A Promise

  • 00:32

    Ólafur Arnalds

    Þú Ert Sólin

  • 00:45

    Gil Scott‐Heron

    Me And The Devil

  • 00:51

    Depeche Mode

    Dream On (Remastered)


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