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A newly recruited hangman in Sri Lanka has resigned in shock after being shown the gallows for the first time.
The country has not carried out a judicial execution since 1976 but has over 400 prisoners on death row.
The authorities want to have an executioner ready in case hangings resume.
But three recruits have now abandoned the job within a year after the previous hangman was promoted to become a prison guard.
Commissioner-General of Prisons Chandrarathna Pallegama told the BBC that the new recruit - reported to be 40 and from the town of Anuradhapura - "got shocked and afraid" after seeing the gallows, which came after several days of training.
He had written a letter saying he wanted to resign and had failed to report for training since Monday.
Apparently, this guy was actually the government's third choice for the job, since the first two hired out of a pool of 176 applicants dipped out last year. Before that, the last full-time executioner Sri Lanka had on its payroll admitted the gallows "made him nervous," and he never had to actually hang anyone, spending most of his time doing paperwork.
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