The Ultimate American Execution Quiz

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time limit:t < 1 h - Developed by: Shiva Rodriguez - Developed on: - 4.803 taken

Capital punishment has always been a subject of controversy here in the United States. It also has a fascinating history as public opinions sway from demanding a painful retribution to exploring the manner in which to execute a humane, painless death upon its condemned criminals. This quiz will test how much you know about execution history in the United States from colonial times up to the present.

  • 1
    The first legal executions held in the colonies (later the United States) were performed using which method?
    Burning at the stake
    Firing squad
  • 2
    Which American President once served as a hangman?
    Grover Cleveland
    Chester Arthur
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    John Quincy Adams
  • 3
    Who is credited for being the first man to hang in the American Colonies for the crime of murder?
    Captin Miles Standish
    John Winthrop
    Daniell Frank
    John Billington
  • 4
    In 1638, who was the first woman to be court-condemned and executed by hanging in the American colonies?
    Elizabeth Richardson
    Mary Lee
    Dorothy Talby
    Mary Dyer
  • 5
    On December 26, 1862 in Minnesota, a mass-execution of Sioux warriors was performed. How many were hanged on that day?
  • 6
    William E. Udderzook, condemned for the crime of murder, was executed using which new method of hanging?
    He was pushed off a tower with the noose around his neck.
    He was seated on a horse that was led out from under him.
    The machine jerked the noose upwards instead of a drop.
    The trapdoor for the drop was sprung by weighted springs.
  • 7
    Which method of execution was never a legal option in American history?
    Pressing to death
    Burning at the stake
  • 8
    Who was the famous American executioner who worked for "the Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker?
    John C. Woods
    Albert Pierrepoint
    George Maledon
    Henry Mencken
  • 9
    Singer Paul Robeson wrote a song that brought fame to a man who was shot by firing squad in Utah in 1915. Who was he?
    Robert Sutton
    Nat Clutter
    Joe Hill
    Andrija Mircovich
  • 10
    Out of thousands of servicemen who deserted during World War II, only one man was ever put to death for this military crime. Who was the army deserter that was executed by firing squad on January 31, 1945?
    Eddie Slovik
    Norman Cota
    James Rougelot
    Jesse Mackers
  • 11
    What unusual request for an execution was delivered to a Nevada State Prison in 1913?
    An air-tight chamber for emitting lethal gas.
    A guillotine.
    A gallows that operated by jerking the noose upwards.
    A machine that fired guns.
  • 12
    On August 6, 1890 William Kemmler was the first man to die in what manner?
    The drowning pool
    The electric chair
    The firing squad
    The gas chamber
  • 13
    During its invention and first years in use, which of the following was not used as a term to describe death by the electric chair before the word "electrocution" became widespread?
  • 14
    On March 20, 1899, who was the first woman to be executed in the electric chair?
    Ruth Bombeck
    Ida Garretson
    Mary Hall
    Martha Place
  • 15
    Who was America's first official electrocutioner?
    Amos Squire
    Edwin Davis
    Joseph Francel
    Robert Elliott
  • 16
    Which famous serial killer died in Florida's electric chair on January 24, 1989?
    Aileen Wuernos
    John Wayne Gacy
    Theodore Bundy
    Richard Speck
  • 17
    Who was the first person to be executed by lethal gas in America?
    Gee Jon
    Henry McCraken
    John Redfern
    Robert Lee Cannon
  • 18
    Whose 1955 execution by lethal gas was made famous in the movie "I Want to Live!"?
    Barbara Graham
    Mary Surrat
    Ruth Snyder
    Mabel Monohan
  • 19
    What happened during the execution of Caryl Chessman, the "Red-Light Bandit" by lethal gas?
    The cyanide pellets were lost during preparation.
    The mechanism malfunctioned to start the lethal gas.
    A last-minute reprieve came in after the cyanide had already been activated.
    The prisoner committed suicide before the execution could take place.
  • 20
    Who was the first man to be executed by lethal injection in the United States?
    Ronald Clark O'Bryan
    Arthur Bishop
    Charlie Brooks
    James Autry
  • 21
    In 1980, death row inmates in Oklahoma and Texas started a lawsuit against lethal injection on what grounds?
    That too many drugs were used in the procedure.
    That the drugs used for the procedure were not being used for FDA-approved purposes.
    That morphine was not one of the drugs used in lethal injection.
    That the use of needles constituted "cruel and unusual punishment".
  • 22
    Who was the first woman to be executed by lethal injection?
    Janice Wakefield
    Kathleen Humbard
    Melissa Patterson
    Margie Velma Barfield
  • 23
    On June 19, 1953 husband and wife were both executed in the electric chair for espionage. Known as "The Atomic Spies" in the papers, who were they?
    Miles and Cathleen Slovich
    Charles and Amelia Rothchilde
    George and Martha Potts
    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
  • 24
    Who was executed in 1936 for the famous "Crime of the Century" kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby?
    Bruno Hauptmann
    Clayton Poseman
    Richard Fishe
    Brian Graywall
  • 25
    Which of the following was not executed during the Salem Witch trials in 1692?
    Abigail Williams
    Martha Cory
    George Burroughs
    Bridget Bishop
  • 26
    Who was not executed for conspiring in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln?
    George Atzerodt
    Lewis Paine
    Jefferson Davis
    Mary Surratt
  • 27
    Where was the first electric chair used?
    New York
  • 28
    Who was not executed for assassinating a president of the United States?
    Charles Guiteau
    John Andre
    Leon Czolgosz
    Giuseppe Zangara
  • 29
    How many executions is Issac C. Parker "The Hanging Judge" accredited to?
  • 30
    On January 13, 1928. a photo appeared in the New York Daily News that was taken of someone being put to death in the electric chair. Who was in the photo?
    Bartolomeo Vanzetti
    Nicola Sacco
    Judd Gray
    Ruth Snyder

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