Originally Posted by SteveAitch
Well, in fifteenth century [what we now know as] Germany, the executioner himself was a convicted murderer because being an executioner was not considered respectable. They were shunned by society and lived on the outskirts. Nobody wanted the job. So they had to force people and who better than someone who already showed a mean streak and had previous experience?
These days presumably it is a medic who administers the lethal drugs. I would have thought that was against the Hippocratic Oath.