death penalty in saudi arabia
Death penalty in Saudi Arabia
The criminal justice system of Saudi Arabia is based on the Sharia law of Islam. The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, false prophecy, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery and can be carried out by beheading with a sword, or more rarely by firing squad, and sometimes by stoning. In the case of adultery, if an unmarried man or woman commit adultery the punishment should be 100 lashes and banishment for a year, and if a married man or women commit adultery the punishment should be 100 lashes and then stoning to death. Converting to another religion (Apostasy) is punishable by death as the government of Saudi Arabia see it as treason and it is strictly forbidden. Murder is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. If a murderer pays a family of the victim blood money, and the family approves of the choice, the murderer will not be executed. The criminal justice system waits until the family makes a decision on whether the family of the victim will accept blood money. If the family of the victim chooses to have the murderer executed, the family has the right to execute the convicted. There were 345 reported executions between 2007 and 2010; they were all carried out by public beheading. There was a reported execution for sorcery that took place in 2012. There were no reports of stoning between 2007 and 2010, but between 1981 and 1992 there were four cases of execution by stoning. Crucifixion of the beheaded body can sometimes occur (publically displaying the beaded body). In 2003, Muhammad Saad al-Beshi, whom the BBC described as "Saudi Arabia's leading executioner", gave a rare interview to Arab News. He described his first execution in 1998: "The criminal was tied and blindfolded. With one stroke of the sword I severed his head. It rolled metres away...People are amazed how fast [the sword] can separate the head from the body." He also said that before an execution he visits the victim's family to seek forgiveness for the criminal, which can lead to the criminal's life being spared. Once an execution goes ahead, his only conversation with the prisoner is to tell him or her to recite the Muslim declaration of belief, the Shahada. "When they get to the execution square, their strength drains away. Then I read the execution order, and at a signal I cut the prisoner's head off," he said. A Saudi prince who murdered a fellow Saudi may be executed, a newspaperreported, in a rare example of a member of the kingdom's ruling family facing the death penalty. In a message about the case to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Prince Salman said: "Sharia (Islamic law) shall be applied to all without exception". Prince Salman's message followed a statement from the victim's father that he was not ready to pardon the killer and he was not happy with the amount offered as blood money. The paper quoted Crown Prince Salman's message as saying: "There is no difference between big and small, rich and poor ... Nobody is allowed to interfere with the judiciary's decision. This is the tradition of this state. We are committed to following the sharia." 79 people were executed in 2013 and 76 people were executed in 2012. So far in 2014 there has been a reported 4 executions.
In the book, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective by Roger G.Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, it says thatin Saudi Arabia the law provides the death penalty for sabotage and corruption on earth to a very wide range of actions. Anyone proved to have carried out any acts of sabotage and corruption on earth which undermines security by agression against persons and private or public property such as the destruction of homes, mosques, schools, factories, bridges, ammunation dumps, water storage tanks, resources of the treasury oil pipelines, the hijacking and blowing up of airplanes and so on may be punishably by death if agreed by the criminal justices system based on the sharia law. They also state that under the influence of islamic law (sharia) several countries, including Saudi Arabia, have made adultery and sodomy capital offences for muslims which is punishable by stoning to death. According to Amnesty International the new sharia penal legislation criminalises behaviour termed as zina (sexually related offences) and increases the penalty from flogging to a mandotory death sentence, applicable to people who are or have been married who have intercourse with another person. Another act applicable to death is homosexuality as three men in Saudi arabia where publicly beheaded by the Saudi criminal court on 1 january 2002.
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