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EXECUTION MACHINES: THE GUILLOTINE - Full Documentary

   
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A guillotine is an apparatus designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading. The device consists of a tall, upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top and suspended. The condemned person is secured with stocks at the bottom of the frame, positioning the neck directly below the blade. The blade is then released, to quickly fall and forcefully decapitate the victim with a single, clean pass so that the head falls into a basket below. The device is best known for its use in France, in particular during the French Revolution, where it was celebrated as the people's avenger by supporters of the revolution and vilified as the pre-eminent symbol of the Reign of Terror by opponents.The name dates from this period, but similar devices had been used elsewhere in Europe over several centuries. The display of severed heads had long been one of the most common ways a European sovereign displayed his power to his subjects. The guillotine remained France’s standard method of judicial execution until as recently as the abolition of capital punishment in 1981.The last person to be executed in France was Hamida Djandoubi, who was guillotined on 10 September 1977.

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