Executions of Criminals

It is weird to think that the works of criminals interested people so much back in the old days as it still does now and how people would travel long ways just to see an execution occur. They would gather in large crowds to hear the accused speak their side and we somewhat do the same when we watch shows that analyze the state of mind criminals and what they were thinking when they did their crime. I wonder why people were so fascinated with the executions, maybe it was because the death of the condemned was almost the sacrifice to God for their very own sins. Or maybe the hearing of why the criminal was condemned attracted the people again because they too felt a connection to the criminal that maybe they could sink to that level as well and so their similarities between the criminal and people bring them to the execution.

A depiction of the gatherings for the execution of a criminal at the Gallows.
A depiction of the gatherings for the execution of a criminal at the Gallows.

In the introduction from Pillars of Salt it really caught my attention how many of the criminals would seek religious guidance the moment before their death in which they would seek forgiveness from God for their sins and how the other persons on the stage would attempt to justify the sentencing. I wonder if the non-religious criminals turned to God because they were scared of death and were seeking comfort under his protection. The incorporation of religion and death fascinated me because of the timing between being condemned and seeking God.

Crime and Us

Crime has always been around just recently it has been broadcasted around us an increasing amount by the media and different literature. People have become fascinated more and more on serial murders, assassins, etc. Why is that? In the interview with Harold Schechter about True Crime he states that “true crime has always carries a strong whiff of the forbidden” which could explain why people are drawn to the thought of crimes. People are attracted to things they should not do and since crime it is unwelcome in our society the idea of breaking the rule and standing out becomes somewhat appealing. As Dickinson acknowledges “a discomforting truth: that we dutiful citizen harbor a dark, savage self, deeply hidden from our own awareness, that revels in violence and destruction” showing that it is human nature to be cynical and therefore are drawn to shows about murderers and villains. In the end I think we are interested in crime so much since criminals look so normal on the outside as do we and yet they are capable of such evil and then we wonder if we are actually capable to do the same.