Here’s a look at my illustration for the upcoming issue of Spacing Magazine for an article on public execution. I’m not sure who the author of the piece is, but I’ll update this post when the issue comes out shortly. Be sure to pick up a copy! Here’s a short excerpt:
Between 1798 and 1869, 92 people were hanged in front of jeering audiences in Toronto. Public executions were an elaborate ritual, with the condemned performing a heavily choreographed act of repentance. Prisoners were expected to read pre-prepared speeches to the crowd, explaining their regret, or their fear of God, or their allegiance to the Crown.
The crowd, in turn, was expected to jeer and mock the condemned, reveling in the punishment that the sinner deserved. According to eyewitnesses, the mood was often carnivalesque, a celebration of life amidst the death of a criminal. When the rope sprung, however, the crowd usually became subdued.