Capital punishment has become a rarity in today’s world though it was quite common until a few decades ago. In fact, in the past centuries, not just criminals, but also political dissidents and rebels were routinely executed. One of the most famous figures to have ever been executed was the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, who was accused of “failing to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledges” and “introducing new deities.” Sir Thomas More, an English social philosopher, faced execution for his “treason, religious dissent” while Sir William Wallace, one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence was brutally executed for high treason. Coming to the 20th century, Adolf Eichmann, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and Arthur Seyss-Inquart were executed for their involvement in war crimes against humanity. Ion Victor Antonescu, who presided over two successive wartime dictatorships in Romania was another figure to be convicted of war crimes and executed. Talking of politically motivated executions, General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, a military head of state of Ghana, was deposed and later executed by firing squad. This section gives you more information about the life and works of famous people who were executed.
Mary, Queen of ScotsMary, Queen of Scots
08 December 1542, Scottish
Queen of Scotland
Marie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette
02 November 1755, Austrian, French
 

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of RussiaGrand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia
18 June 1901, Russian
Daughter of Tsar Nicholas II

Che GuevaraChe Guevara
14 June 1928, Argentinian
 

Anne BoleynAnne Boleyn
1501 AD, British
Marquess of Pembroke

Bhagat SinghBhagat Singh
27 September 1907, Indian
Revolutionary
Saddam HusseinSaddam Hussein
28 April 1937, Iraqi
Dictator & President of Iraq

Benito MussoliniBenito Mussolini
29 July 1883, Italian
Former Duce

Joan of ArcJoan of Arc
1412 AD, French
Heroine of France

Muammar GaddafiMuammar Gaddafi
07 June 1942, Libyan
 
Leon TrotskyLeon Trotsky
07 November 1879, Russian, Ukrainian, Russian
Founder and first leader of the Red Army

Louis XVI of FranceLouis XVI of France
23 August 1754, French
King of France
Lady Jane GreyLady Jane Grey
1537 AD, British
Monarch

William WallaceWilliam Wallace
1270 AD, Scottish
Patriot, Revolutionary Fighter, Knight, De facto

Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of RussiaAlexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia
12 August 1904, Russian
Tsarevich of Russia
Guy FawkesGuy Fawkes
13 April 1570, British
Soldier

Walter RaleighWalter Raleigh
22 January 1554, British
Politician, Writer, Explorer, Aristocrat
Prithviraj ChauhanPrithviraj Chauhan
1149 AD, Indian
Rajput king of the Chauhan dynasty

Davy CrockettDavy Crockett
17 August 1786, American
 

Edward II of EnglandEdward II of England
25 April 1284, British
King of England
Mata HariMata Hari
07 August 1876, Dutch
Dutch exotic dancer

Nicolae CeaușescuNicolae Ceaușescu
26 January 1918, Romanian
Former President of Romania
Thomas MoreThomas More
07 February 1478, British
Catholic Saint

Thomas CromwellThomas Cromwell
1485 AD, British
English statesman

Pontius PilatePontius Pilate
 , Ancient Roman
Presided Over the Trial of Jesus

Uday HusseinUday Hussein
18 June 1964, Iraqi
Saddam Hussein’s Son
Zulfikar Ali BhuttoZulfikar Ali Bhutto
05 January 1928, Pakistani
 
Saint GeorgeSaint George
0280 AD, Greek, Israeli
Christian martyr

Patrice LumumbaPatrice Lumumba
02 July 1925, Congolese
Political leader

Antoine LavoisierAntoine Lavoisier
26 August 1743, French
Chemist

Mangal PandeyMangal Pandey
19 July 1827, Indian
Revolutionary
Rosa LuxemburgRosa Luxemburg
05 March 1871, German, Polish
Marxist Theorist

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Dietrich BonhoefferDietrich Bonhoeffer
04 February 1906, German
 

Joachim von RibbentropJoachim von Ribbentrop
30 April 1893, German
Nazi Minister

Vidkun QuislingVidkun Quisling
18 July 1887, Norwegian
World war II Norwegian Politician & Military

Nat TurnerNat Turner
02 October 1800, American
Leader of Slave Rebellion
Jesus ChristJesus Christ
 , Ancient Roman
Founder of Christianity

Shoko AsaharaShoko Asahara
02 March 1955, Japanese
Criminal
Yakov DzhugashviliYakov Dzhugashvili
18 March 1907, Georgian, Russian
Joseph Stalin's Son

John AndreJohn André
02 May 1750, British
18th Century British Army Officer & Spy

Alfred RosenbergAlfred Rosenberg
12 January 1893, German
Nazi Party Ideologue, Author
William TyndaleWilliam Tyndale
1494 AD, British
Theologian

Nathan HaleNathan Hale
06 June 1755, American
American Martyr
Clara PetacciClara Petacci
28 February 1912, Italian
Mistress of Benito Mussolini

Alfred JodlAlfred Jodl
10 May 1890, German
Military Commander, Nazi War Criminal

Jose RizalJose Rizal
19 June 1861, Filipino
 

Thomas CranmerThomas Cranmer
02 July 1489, British
First Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury

Charles George GordonCharles George Gordon
28 January 1833, British
British soldier and Administrator
Guru Tegh BahadurGuru Tegh Bahadur
01 April 1621, Indian
Ninth Sikh Guru

Georges DantonGeorges Danton
26 October 1759, French
Revolutionary

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of EssexRobert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
10 November 1565, British
Political figure

Mohammad NajibullahMohammad Najibullah
06 August 1947, Afghan
President of Afghanistan
Julius StreicherJulius Streicher
12 February 1885, German
A Member of National Socialist German Workers'

Joachim MuratJoachim Murat
25 March 1767, French
Marshal of France
BalboaVasco Núñez de Balboa
1475 AD, Spanish
Spanish Explorer

Guru ArjanGuru Arjan
15 April 1563, Indian
Fifth Sikh Guru

James ConnollyJames Connolly
05 June 1868, British
Socialist Leader
Nicholas IINicholas II
18 May 1868, Russian
 

Arthur Seyss-InquartArthur Seyss-Inquart
22 July 1892, Austrian, Czech
War Criminal
Agustín de IturbideAgustín de Iturbide
27 September 1783, Mexican
Emperor of Mexico

Richard SorgeRichard Sorge
04 October 1895, Russian
Soviet Military Intelligence Officer

Sidney ReillySidney Reilly
24 March 1873, Russian
British Secret Service Bureau Agent
Imre NagyImre Nagy
07 June 1896, Hungarian
Politician

Surya SenSurya Sen
22 March 1894, Indian
Revolutionary
Andres BonifacioAndres Bonifacio
30 November 1863, Filipino
Filipino Revolutionary

Maximilien de RobespierreMaximilien de Robespierre
06 May 1758, French
Influential Figure of the French Revolution

John BrownJohn Brown
09 May 1800, American
Abolitionist

Anicius Manlius Severinus BoethiusAnicius Manlius Severinus Boethius
0480 AD, Italian
Philosopher, Theologian, Statesman
Joseph Smith Jr.Joseph Smith Jr.
23 December 1805, American
1st President of the Church of Christ (later the
Jonas ŽemaitisJonas Žemaitis
15 March 1909, Lithuanian
Former President of Lithuania

Ahmad JavadAhmad Javad
05 May 1892, Azerbaijani
Poet

Maximilien RobespierreMaximilien Robespierre
06 May 1758, French
Politician, Lawyer, Journalist, Revolutionary

Joseph SmithJoseph Smith
23 December 1805, American
Religious Leader
Nathuram GodseNathuram Godse
19 May 1910, Indian
Politician, Journalist

Claus von StauffenbergClaus von Stauffenberg
15 November 1907, German
Officer

Ajmal KasabAjmal Kasab
13 July 1987, Pakistani
Criminal

Giordano BrunoGiordano Bruno
1548 AD, Italian
Philosopher

William BoninWilliam Bonin
08 January 1947, American
Criminal
William JoyceWilliam Joyce
24 April 1906, German, British, American
Politician, Journalist, Radio personality

Wilhelm CanarisWilhelm Canaris
01 January 1887, German
Intelligence officer, Submariner, Navy officer
Ruth EllisRuth Ellis
09 October 1926, British, Welsh
Model

Hans FrankHans Frank
23 May 1900, German
Lawyer, Politician

Ion AntonescuIon Antonescu
02 June 1882, Romanian
Former Prime Minister of Romania
Giuseppe ZangaraGiuseppe Zangara
07 September 1900, American
Politician

Louis RielLouis Riel
22 October 1844, Canadian
Politician
Pierre LavalPierre Laval
28 June 1883, French
Politician, Lawyer

Joe HillJoe Hill
07 October 1879, American
Songwriter, Trade unionist

Eddie SlovikEddie Slovik
18 February 1920, Polish, American
Military personnel, Soldier

Wilhelm FrickWilhelm Frick
12 March 1877, German
Politician, Diplomat, Lawyer
Luis Donaldo ColosioLuis Donaldo Colosio
10 February 1950, Mexican
Politician, Economist

Grigory ZinovievGrigory Zinoviev
23 September 1883, Ukrainian
Actor, Politician
Ken Saro-WiwaKen Saro-Wiwa
10 October 1941, Nigerian
Writer, Poet, Screenwriter

Olympe de GougesOlympe de Gouges
07 May 1748, French
Playwright, Journalist, Philosopher, Writer,
Violette SzaboViolette Szabo
26 June 1921, French
Spy

Galeazzo CianoGaleazzo Ciano
18 March 1903, Italian
Diplomat, Politician, Jurist, Diarist
Andrey VlasovAndrey Vlasov
14 September 1901, Russian
officer