Report No. 187
(f) Headman's Axe
This form of execution was quite popular in Germany and England during the 16th and 17th centuries, where decapitation was thought to be the most humane form of capital punishment. An executioner, usually hooded, would chop off the person's head with an axe or sword. The last beheading took place in 1747 in United Kingdom. Later on, and before capital punishment was abolished recently, with a greater interest in humanitarianism, capital punishment became less gruesome than the beheadings and torture that were common place centuries before. Lethal injection and electrocution have become the preferred methods of execution in many countries mostly because these methods appeared to be less offensive to the public and more humane for the prisoner.