I stumbled upon “A Short History of the Executioner“, and it’s quite fascinating reading.
Most importantly, the executioner’s education included extensive instruction in human anatomy. Indeed, the executioner’s knowledge of the human body was so renowned that their services were often demanded in place of a physician.
The last of his kind, Pierrepoint, happily left his family’s work behind him in in 1956 (the United Kingdom would abolish the death penalty in 1969), opened a pub and wrote an autobiography.
Today, of course, the role of executioner is neither a profession, nor does it involve knowledge of anatomy. Someone is merely appointed to push a button when told to do so. How clinical.
In other news, the European Court has decreed that death does not end one’s vacation benefits, overruling a German court that said a man’s widow was not entitled to receive payment for the 140 days of vacation time her husband had accrued prior to his death.
But the Luxembourg-based appeals court said European law supersedes national legislation and dictates that “the unintended occurrence of the worker’s death must not retroactively lead to a total loss of the entitlement to paid annual leave.”
How nice to know that a nation’s laws can be overruled in the EU. Small wonder that Britain’s thinking of leaving.