Last Words of the Executed by Robert K. Elder is today’s free eBook of the Day.

The book tells the history of capital punishment in America from the gallows and the electric chair. Here is an excerpt:

Hanging is America’s oldest method of execution, imported from
Britain, and also the simplest. It required only a sturdy rope and a
high perch—usually a tree or scaffold bar—strong enough to sup-
port a human body. In the best circumstances, the fall broke the
condemned person’s neck. Some, however, like Johnson, dangled
and kicked until they suffocated. In more than a few instances,
others were decapitated by the force of the drop.

The University of Chicago has the free download for the month of January.

For more free eBooks, check out our Free eBook of the Day archive.