A death sentence is a punishment of death given by a judge to someone who has been found guilty of a serious crime such as murder, terrorism etc. The most common way in African countries this punishment is carried out is hanging.
Hanging is a form of strangulation where a noose is pulled tight around the neck by the person’s own body weight. The noose compresses the airways, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the lungs. It also compresses the carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain.
Before a prisoner is executed, the face of the prisoner is covered with black hood or cloth before is hanged officially.
According to Nigerialawguru, there are reasons why the faces of prisoners are covered before execution.
1. It is to protect the identity of the arrested; this is to avoid the accused being exposed before the general public, even before his or her identification is done by the witnesses and recorded.
2. For the prisoners not to know the exact moment the lever would be pulled for them to die; they do not want them to open their eyes and make movements to die in fear and agony.
3. Hood are used to cover the face of a prisoner because death leaves signs on the face; the swollen or darkened face, swollen eyes, long neck, etc., resulting from the unnatural death, are hidden from those who witness the punishment. Also covering the head also maintains an illusion of dignity for the condemned.
4. To reduce the risk of shock and discomfort for the executioner, the magistrate, and other officials present at the time of execution.