17 Pro Death Penalty Quotes by Executioners

"I hanged those ten Nazis... and I am proud of it... I wasn't nervous.... A fellow can't afford to have nerves in this business.... I want to put in a good word for those G.I.s who helped me... they all did swell.... I am trying to get [them] a promotion.... The way I look at this hanging job, somebody has to do it. I got into it kind of by accident, years ago in the States...."


"Ten men in 103 minutes. That's fast work."

John C. Woods A.K.A John Clarence Woods (June 5, 1911 – July 21, 1950) was a United States Army Master Sergeant who, with Joseph Malta, carried out the Nuremberg executions of ten former top leaders of the Third Reich on October 16, 1946 after they were sentenced to death at the Nuremberg Trials. He executed a total of 347 people during his 15-year career.

He’s very clear about one thing, however, and that is the sort of people who most deserve the noose: “In particular, those people who murder small children. They should still be executed, no matter what the law says, and most people like myself think so.”

“As to the Guildford Four,” he says, “they pleaded guilty, but in my opinion, they pleaded guilty because they knew they wouldn’t be hung, that they’d only get a few years in prison.”

“Well, if I helped to kill an innocent man as you seem to be implying, it doesn’t worry me one little bit. I did the job I was trained to do, and I did it well.”

“I do know that they [the Government] daren’t have a referendum on it, because they know that too many people will be in favour. As the Government have determined that there shall be no more executions and also they’ve scrapped the gallows in every prison, they are determined that it won’t come back. So you watch the papers day by day and watch the murder rate rise.”

Syd Dernley (29 December 1920 – 1 November 1994) was dubbed, as also has been Albert Pierrepoint, "the last British hangman", although in fact he was not (this title belongs jointly to Harry Allen and Robert Leslie Stewart). He was a welder by trade, but was appointed assistant executioner by the Home Office in 1949, and participated in 20 hangings until he was replaced in 1954. Execution by hanging continued in Britain until 1964. In 1950 he assisted Albert Pierrepoint in the hanging of Timothy Evans for the murder of his family, although Evans was pardoned posthumously in 1966 when it was discovered John Reginald Halliday Christie may have been the killer, as Christie's murders all carried a similar modus operandi to the deaths of Evans' family. On 8 May 1951, Pierrepoint and Dernley escorted convicted murderer James Inglis to the gallows immediately adjacent, and hanged him without delay — the fastest hanging on record, taking only seven seconds from the time he was removed from his cell until his fatal 'long drop'. On 27 April 1954, Dernley was removed from the Home Office list of Official List of Assistant Executioners having been convicted of publishing obscene material, and sent to prison for six months at the Nottinghamshire Quarter Sessions, along with being fined £50 and charged £25 costs. Dernley claimed that no reason was given for his removal but he suspected it was because of a crude comment he had made about the size of the penis of a hanged man after an execution in London in 1953.

JEDDAH, 5 June 2003 — Saudi Arabia’s leading executioner Muhammad Saad Al-Beshi will behead up to seven people in a day.

“It doesn’t matter to me: Two, four, 10 — As long as I’m doing God’s will, it doesn’t matter how many people I execute,” he told Okaz newspaper in an interview.

He started at a prison in Taif, where his job was to handcuff and blindfold the prisoners before their execution. “Because of this background, I developed a desire to be an executioner,” he says.

Saturday 16 March 2013 - The Kingdom’s leading executioner who wields the sword and deals with condemned convicts in Makkah province is not concerned with the new move to use firing squads.

“It won’t put me out of the job,” Muhammad Saad Al-Beshi said in an interview with Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

Al-Beshi said he also knew how to use firearms and could use that skill in executing criminals.

Beheadings are still being carried out, Al-Beshi added.

“I just came back from Raniya Governorate where I carried out a death sentence by the sword, which I’m very good at.”

Muhammad Saad al-Beshi(لبيشي محمد سعد ) has been an executioner for the government of Saudi Arabia since 1998. He is of Black African origin. He has been described as "Saudi Arabia's leading executioner". Al-Beshi performs executions by decapitation, using a sword, and occasionally uses a firearm. Al-Beshi also performs amputations of limbs when required under Saudi Arabia's sharia law. Beshi is married and is the father of seven children.

The former executioner has brought someone with him to the interview: Chris Zimmerman, once the police chief in Roy, Utah, who investigated the King slaying, interrogated Taylor, arrested him and witnessed his execution.

Zimmerman recalls seeing Taylor clench his fists as a reflex. His chest rose, and then sunk.

"The process was not gruesomely bloody, nor was it slow. "We were there, and it's not that way," the officer said.

He remembers getting home at 3 a.m. -- Utah executions are conducted just after midnight. Five hours later, he was kicking in a door to serve a search warrant.

A coworker who recently had struggled after shooting a suspect approached him to make sure he was OK, the officer said. But a police shooting, where an officer must make a split-second decision, is "a whole different world," he said. "I'm going .... 'Look, man, this is nothing like what you went through.'

"I do not want to downplay in any way what real cops do in real shootings."

Zimmerman points out that an officer who saw Taylor running from the murder scene with a gun and shot him would have been considered a hero. "Both ways, we killed him," he said.

He remembers King's mother telling investigators of finding her daughter's body and trying to resuscitate her before realizing it was fruitless, gently unwrapping the cord from the girl's neck.

"That woman has to live with that the rest of her life, and John Albert Taylor was put to death in seconds," Zimmerman said.

The officer points out that both Gardner and another death-row inmate in Utah, Troy Kell, were already in custody when they killed again. Gardner was charged with killing bartender Melvyn Otterstrom in October 1984; Kell was serving time for murder when he killed another inmate in a Utah prison.

“No one executed for their crime, the officer points out, has ever killed again.”

"It seems to be quite effective," he says. "Nobody's heard from Gary Gilmore," the first person executed after the Supreme Court lifted a ban on capital punishment in 1976. Gilmore died by firing squad at the Utah State Prison in 1977.

"You'll notice this didn't take two and a half hours," he says, referring to a recent execution in Ohio, where personnel had trouble finding a vein on an inmate to administer a lethal injection.

"The death penalty," the officer says, "is nothing more than sending a defective product back to the manufacturer. Let him fix it."

"The appeals process is a little out of control," the officer said. "Get it done in a couple of years and move on."

Asked about cases in which people are freed from prison after being proved innocent, the officer says he doubts there have been innocent people executed since 1976. It's hard to convict someone and put them on death row, he says, and it's harder to keep them there through numerous appeals. That process minimizes the risk of the innocent being executed, he says.

Taylor's death, the officer says, was a homicide in that it came at the hands of others. But it was not murder, he maintains, and the death penalty "needs to be used more often."

"I haven't lost three seconds of sleep over it,"
he says. “It’s true justice."

Chris Zimmerman is the former Police Chief in Roy, Utah

Mullick still holds firmly to his belief in capital punishment. "Should a person like Chatterjee who raped and brutally murdered a 14-year-old be kept alive? Should a terrorist like Mohammad Afzal Guru (recently sentenced to death for his role in a plot to blow up Indian Parliament) be kept alive? I don't think so," he says, lying down in his bed against the grimy pink walls - a collage of yellowing media clippings of a famous hangman's life and works and the Hindu pantheon.

Thursday 24 June 2004 - Human rights groups across Calcutta have campaigned to prevent the hanging of apartment guard Dhananjoy Chatterjee, accused of raping and killing a 16-year-old girl.

Late on Thursday, Indian authorities said President Abdul Kalam had ordered a stay of execution until he had considered an appeal for clemency from Mr Chatterjee's family.

But Nata Mullick was furious.

"Will they condone someone who has raped their daughter, their own daughter? It is easy to sermonise about somebody else," he says in an outspoken attack on those agitating for the abolition of the death penalty.

"This is my first execution in 15 years and I must get everything right," says Nata Mullick, "but my conscience is clear. I have not hanged revolutionaries and freedom fighters, I have only hanged criminals."

"I am like the police. They arrest criminals, I hang the worst of them. I am doing what the government wants me to do. It is they who will decide whether criminals should be hanged or not," says Nata Mullick.

Nata Mullick was India’s hangman whose 25th execution was rape and murder convict Dhananjoy Chatterjee on 14 August 2004, died of old age ailments on 14 December 2009. Mullick was also known for his acting skills and histrionics. He played the role of a hangman in Mrinal Sen's film "Mrigaya" in the 1970s. He also acted in 'jatras' (open air theatres) and in television serials. Mullick had to come out of retirement to hang Chatterjee as he the only official hangman in the state and agreed to do the job on condition that the government provides a job to one of his sons. Mullick's father Shiblal Mullick too was a hangman during the British period who executed freedom fighters.

"Over four decades have now passed since the Eichmann execution," Nagar says, "and in spite of all the trauma, today I understand the great merit I was given. God commands us to wipe out Amalek, and 'not to forget.' I have fulfilled both."

Shalom Nagar was the executioner who sprung the gallows to send Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann to his death on 31 May 1962.

“These people all deserved what they got for their crimes.”

Hu Xiao is a Chinese Executioner. He was a former soldier who has worked as a Police Officer for 19 years.