DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The garrote was the principal device used for capital punishment in Spain for hundreds of years and during the Spanish Inquisition. It was developed for the practice of strangulation by which the condemned was tied to a wooden stake with a looped section of rope placed around his neck. A wooden stick would then be placed in the loop and twisted by an executioner, causing the rope to tighten until it strangled the prisoner to death. As time went on, the execution method was modified in the form of a wooden chair, as seen here, to which the condemned was bound, while the executioner tightened a metal band around his or her neck with a crank or a wheel until asphyxiation of the condemned person was accomplished. Note the metal crucifix attached to the head of the chair. It was not uncommon for priests to bless torture equipment with holy water.
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