Transcript
 
(HO 301/4)

8419. Would you just tell us, so that we may have it on record, exactly what you do from the moment you arrive at a prison in order to carry out an execution until the end of the operation? - We have to report at the prison before 4 o'clock in the afternoon the previous day. On arriving at the prison we are shown to our rooms. Shortly afterwards we are shown the execution chamber and we prepare. We have a dummy execution, a rehearsal, on that afternoon when we arrive. Then in the evening, say about 5 o'clock or 6 o'clock, we see the prisoner, probably at exercise or in his cell. Then we ask for his age, height and weight and in the evening we make out his drop. Every person has a different drop. That is all for the first day. Then in the morning at 7 o'clock you go to the execution chamber again and get all ready, make the final arrangements for the job itself. Then we finish there about half and hour before the execution is going to take place, and that is all there is to it.

8420. Do you see the prisoner without the prisoner knowing that you are seeing him? - Definitely. We see him through a spy-hole, or we look through the window when he has his exercise.

8421. You say you have to have his age, height, and weight. I know why you want his weight, but why do you want his age and height?-We have to have his age. If you get a person of say, 24 years of age, he weighs 9 stone; you might get a man of 65 years of age and weighs 9 stone, but the man of 65 has feeble muscles and the young fellow of 24 might have a strong, powerful muscular body ; and we have to allow for that, so as to have it perfect and instantaneous.

8422. Do you allow for that by putting something on the drop? - More inches on the drop for a stronger man.