A Standard For Capital Punishment
French physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (1738-1814) lent his name to a beheading device, the guillotine, used extensively during the French Revolution. Although he is largely credited with inventing the device, he actually did not. On this date in 1789, Guillotin argued before the French National Assembly that painless and private beheading by machine, without torture or other cruelty, should become the capital punishment standard in France. The Assembly endorsed his idea and began using the guillotine publicly in 1792. Much to Guillotins dismay, thousands of people died in France in this fashion during the Revolution. Guillotin died in 1814.
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