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The History Hour

The death penalty and broadcasting bans

The History Hour
The History Hour
Max Pearson presents a collection of this week's Witness History episodes from the BBC World Service. Our guest is Chiara Sangiorgio, Death Penalty Adviser at Amnesty International, who tells us about the history of the death penalty and its effectiveness.

The programme begins with two perspectives on capital punishment: Yoshikuni Noguchi recounts his time as a prison guard on death row in Japan in the 1970s; then we hear archive recordings of Albert Pierrepoint, Britain's most famous hangman.

Poland's former-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Radosław Sikorski, describes how close he came to death in the 2010 Smolensk air disaster, in which the country's President was killed.

Paul McLoone, the frontman of The Undertones, a punk-rock band, tells the bizarre story of how he became the broadcasting voice of IRA commander Martin McGuinness when the organisation was banned from British airwaves in 1988.

Finally, Karlheinz Brandenburg explains how he revolutionised the way we listen to music through his invention of the MP3.


Chiara Sangiorgio - Death Penalty Adviser at Amnesty International
Yoshikuni Noguchi - Japanese death row prison guard.
Albert Pierrepoint - British executioner.
Radosław Sikorski - former-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland.
Paul McCloone - band member of The Undertones and the voice of Martin McGuinness.
Karlheinz Brandenburg - inventor of the MP3.

(Photo: Nooses. Credit: Rebecca Redmond/EyeEm via Getty Images)
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