Capital punishment in Spain
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In 1820 Ferdinand VII replaced all other methods with the garrotte, which was used mainly since then, including for the liberal freedom fighter Mariana de Pineda Muñoz and the assassin of six-time Prime Minister of Spain Antonio Cánovas del Castillo. According to a pamphlet published anonymously by Crown Prince Oscar Bernadotte, Spain was the most frequent executioner of the Western world in the early 1800s, followed by his native Sweden. The penalty was abolished by the Second Spanish Republic in 1932 but restored two years later in the midst of social and political turmoil for a few major offences, not including murder.
Issue of Le Progres depicting the executions of anarchists in Xeres in 1892 by use of the garrotte.
Capital punishment in Francoist Spain was restored fully on decree in 1938. Franco oversaw a high number of swiftly-carried out executions in the early period of the dictatorship (possibly amounting to hundreds of thousands), most of them extrajudicial. From 1940 to 1975, 165 judicial executions are reported to have been carried out, although precise numbers from the years following the Spanish Civil War are vague.
As Franco's regime was consolidated, use of the death penalty became more scarce; between 1950 and 1959 some 58 Spaniards (including two women) were executed by garrotte and nine by firing squad. In the 1960s, the total number of executions dropped to six; two in 1960, two in 1963 and two in 1966 (less than in neighbouring France, although several of the convictions were considered political). Due to criticism, a six-year stay followed, broken when Pedro Martínez Exposito was shot in 1972 for homicide and robbery. The...