Execution by shooting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A Batista firing squad in Cuba

Execution by shooting is a form of capital punishment whereby an executed person is shot by one or more firearms. It is the most common method of execution worldwide, used in about 70 countries,[1] with execution by firing squad being one particular form. In most countries, execution by a firing squad has historically been considered a more honorable death and was used primarily for military personnel, though in some countries - including Belarus, the only country to practice the death penalty in Europe - single-executioner shooting is still in use.

Soviet bloc[edit]

In 20th century communist states, shooting was a standard form of execution of civilian and military prisoners alike, with the Soviet Union setting an example of single-executioner approach. The firing squad, with its usual solemn and lengthy ceremony was used infrequently, with the most common method being the unexpected firing of a pistol bullet into the back of the head. The person who was to be executed was often led through a series of corridors, not knowing when or where the shot takes place.

Often the phrase "execution by firing squad" is incorrectly used to translate the Russian term "расстрел" (rasstrel), which, in general, refers to any form of shooting, either by a single executioner or a firing squad, regardless of method.

United States[edit]

On May 14, 1913, Andriza Mircovich became the first and only inmate in Nevada to be executed by shooting.[2] After the warden of Nevada State Prison was unable to find five men to form a firing squad,[3] a shooting machine was built to carry out Mircovich's execution.[4] On October 31, 1938, John Deering, a condemned inmate at Sugar House Prison in Utah,[5] volunteered to have himself hooked up to an electrocardiogram while he was shot by a firing squad to observe the effect of gunshot wounds to the heart.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Clark, Richard (2006). "Shot at dawn!". Capital Punishment U.K. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  2. ^ "Nevada State Prison Inmate Case Files: Andriza Mircovich". Nevada State Library and Archives. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ "No One To Shoot Murderer". The New York Times. August 12, 1912. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ Cafferata, Patty (June 2010). "Capital Punishment Nevada Style". Nevada Lawyer (State Bar of Nevada). Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  5. ^ Schindler, Hal (January 28, 1996). "Taylor's Death Was Quick . . . But Some Weren't So Lucky". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  6. ^ Boese, Alex (2007). "Heartbeat at Death". Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 246–249. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  7. ^ # ^ Sahib: The British Soldier in India 1750-1914 Richard Holmes HarperCollins 2005
  8. ^ Cormack, Lucy (2015-01-17). "Drug traffickers in Indonesia face firing squad of 12 in first executions of 2015". SMH. SMH. Retrieved 2015-01-17. 
  9. ^ “Le président mongol veut abolir la peine de mort”, Le Monde, January 14, 2009
  10. ^ Thailand Department of Corrections: Death Penalty
  11. ^ The Free Press - Independent News Media - International Issues


  • Zelitch, Judah. "Soviet Administration of Criminal Law". University of Pennsylvania Press, 1931

External links[edit]