10 failed executions in history that proves that God alone can give or take life.



opera.com
May 6, 2020 3:15 PM





The existence of time is very important in 





human lives. It seems sometimes that ‘Time’ 




has its own whims. The following people are 



those who were sentenced to death by 


humans 


but time made its own judgement and said ‘


your time is not up yet!’ so they lived in 



spite of all human effort to the contrary.

A list of 10 people who survived their execution astonishingly:



10. Elizabeth Proctor (1652-Unknown)

Elizabeth Proctor




In the Salem Witch Trials (1692-93), Elizabeth 





Proctor along with her her husband was 




accused of practising witchcraft and after a 





trial was sentenced to death. Elizabeth was 




pregnant and therefore was granted a stay of 




execution until after the birth of 









her baby. Her husband was executed on 





August 19, 1692. Salem Witch Trials was a big 





sensational story back then. Soon the Governor







intervened and ordered 153 people (who were 



wrongly convicted without hard evidence) to be






freed. Elizabeth was among those released.



9. John Henry George Lee (1864 – Circa 1945)

10 People Who Survived Their Execution




John Lee was convicted of murdering his 





employer, Miss Emma Keyse by clubbing her to




death with an axe followed by slashing her 




throat with a knife and then setting her house 




on fire. He was sentenced to death by hanging. 



On the day of his hanging he was taken to the 


Exeter Prison. He was made to stand on the 



trap door, beneath which his dead corpse 



would have been hanging, had the door not 



malfunctioned. They tried hanging him again 



but failed. After three failed attempts, the 


Home Secretary reduced John Lee’s sentence 


to life imprisonment.


8. Zoleykhah Kadkhoda (1977)



In Iran a young woman named Zoleykhah 



Kadkhoda was charged of adultery and 



sentenced to death by stoning. Kadkhoda was 


buried up to her waist but soon after the 



stoning began there was a sharp disapproving 


reaction from the villagers. Never-the-less the 


stoning went on and by the time it stopped 



Kadkhoda was thought to be dead and her 


corpse was taken to the morgue. Arriving there,



they soon discovered that she was breathing 



and was rushed to the hospital. Zoleykhah 


Kadkhoda survived that day to tell her story.

7. William Duell (Circa 1724)

William Duell Execution




17 year old William Duell was convicted of 


raping and murdering Sarah Griffin in London 


and he was sentenced to death. The 


executioners hung his body for about 20 


minutes (which was a standard procedure to 


make sure the person has died) before cutting 


him down. It was a practise then to donate 


dead criminal bodies for training of students to


medical institutes. Accordingly Duell’s body 


was brought to Surgeons’ Hall. The corpse was


stripped and laid on the board and was about 


to be anatomized when one of the servants 


noticed he was breathing which got quicker 


every minute. He was then bled, and in two 


hours, he was able to sit upright. Duell was 


sent back to prison again. The authorities soon


decided to reprieve him and his sentence was 


commuted to transportation also known as 


penal transportation (i.e. exile).

6. John Smith (Circa 1661 To After 1727)

John Smith circa 1690




John Smith, from England was charged of 


housebreaking and was sentenced to death by 


hanging at the Tyburn gallows. When at 



the Tyburn, he was being hanged, his family 


and friends tugged at his legs to shorten his 



suffering but some people held Smith’s feet up 



for the possibility that he would not die. 



Apparently it worked. After hanging for a 



quarter of an hour, people began shouting for  





reprieve. Unable to resist public clamouring the



authorities granted a reprieve; Smith was cut 


down and taken to a house in the 



neighbourhood, where he recovered. He was 


granted freedom later.


Interestingly, he went back to his profession of 


housebreaking and was convicted three more 


times. The third time he was caught of theft 


and was sentenced to transportation (exile) 




to Virginia.

5. Anne Green (1628 – 1665)

Anne Greene




Anne Green was a domestic servant who had 


committed infanticide in 1650. The child was 


her own child said to have been fathered by the


grandson of her employer. Green hid her 


pregnancy and gave birth to a still born. She 


tried unsuccessfully to hide the body and was 


discovered and sentenced to death by hanging.



During the execution she hung with the rope 


around her throat while her friends pulled at 


her 


swinging body, as was requested by Anne 


herself. She was even struck severe blows just 


to make sure that she was dead. After the 


usual interval she was cut down, pronounced 


dead and handed over to the medical 


students. 


But the students were in for a shock when they 



discovered that the ‘corpse’ was actually 


faintly 


breathing. She was accordingly treated and 


soon recovered. The event was regarded as 


the 


special interference of the hand of God on 


behalf of the innocent and therefore Anne 


Green was pardoned.

4. Maggie Dickson (Circa 1700)

Maggie Dickson





Like Anne Green, Maggie Dickson was 


convicted of infanticide of her own child that 


she had had through an affair with the 


Innkeeper’s son. She kept her pregnancy a 


secret. The baby was prematurely born and 


died within a few days. Unable to throw her 


dead child into the river, she left it on the 


riverbank. So the baby was discovered and the 


authorities traced it back to Maggie. Maggie 


was taken for public execution at the 



Grasssmarket. After her hanging the corpse 


was placed into the coffin but on the way to the



graveyard she awoke up and started banging 



from inside the coffin. This strange happening 



was seen as God’s will and so she was freed.



Maggie Dickson is now hailed as a legend and 


is often referred to as Half-Hangit Maggie. 



There’s even is a pub named after her in the 



Grassmarket.

3. Joseph Samuel (1780-1806)

Joseph Samuel Execution



Samuel and his gang were charged of robbery 


and the murder of a policeman. When the news




of Joseph Samuel hanging spread it attracted a



large crowd who gathered at the execution 


spot. During the execution the cart on which he



was standing drove off, but instead of dangling




in air Samuel fell on the ground as the rope 


around his neck snapped. The crowd quivered 

and murmured among themselves. Another 


attempt was made hastily but this time, the 


rope slipped and got longer therefore Samuel’s 


legs touched the ground. People uproar in 


excitement. On the third attempt the rope 


snapped again. The crowd yelled for Samuel to 



be freed for they believed that it was a sign 


from God. The governor was sent for, who 


came and investigated and upon popular 


demand commuted Joseph Samuel’s 


sentence 


to life imprisonment.

2. Wenseslao Moguel (Circa 1880)

10 People Who Survived Their Execution



Captured while fighting in the Mexican 


revolution and sentenced to death without a 


trial in 1915, Moguel survival story is 


unbelievable. He was shot 9 times by the firing 


squad, the 9th bullet passed right through his 


head at close range to insure his death. But 


Moguel, not only somehow survived, he also 


managed to escape from prison. He came on 


the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not radio show in 


1937. In the above photo Moguel is seen 


pointing to the scar made by the bullet wound.

1. Willie Francis (1929 – 1947)

Willie Francis




At the age of 16 Willie Francis became the first 




incident of a failed execution by electrocution 


in the United States. On murdering his 


employer – a pharmacy owner – Francis was 


convicted and sentenced to death by the 


electric chair. On administering a lethal surge 


of electricity, witnesses report that they had 


heard the boy scream “Take it off! Take it off! 


Let me breathe! “. Another report claimed him 


saying “I’m n-not dying!” The executioners were



left flabbergasted. It was later discovered that 


the electric chair failed to kill Willie Francis 


because it was improperly set up by a prison 


guard who was drunk at the time.



So Willie was allowed to live but only for a 


year, 



after which he was executed on another 


electrical chair which was not set up by a 


drunk.







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