"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Sunday, March 10, 2013

No more beheading? Saudi Arabia considers death row gunfire executions

AL ARABIYA - Saudi Arabia is looking into the possibility of implementing executions by shooting and not decapitation, Saudi daily “Al-Yawm” reported on Sunday.

The daily quoted sources as saying the suggestion was being studied by a commission formed from members of the ministries of interior and health, the prosecution office, general security office and the general directorate of prisons.

It added that the interior ministry authorized governors to implement executions by shooting until the “appropriate means” to carry out the punishment is finalized.

An announcement issued by the bureau of investigation and the prosecution said the means to implement the execution is up for the governor to decide when the means is not specified in the capital punishment verdict and that implementing execution by shooting is acceptable as long as it is not considered a legal violation.

If shooting is approved as a method to implement capital punishment, it would not be a first. A woman in the Saudi city of Ha’il was executed by being shot several years ago after she was found guilty of murdering her husband.

Source: al arabyia, March 10, 2013

Firing squads could replace executioners

Decision left to governors’ discretion as study is being carried out, report says

Manama: Saudi Arabia could soon replace beheading with a sword by a firing squad when carrying out the death penalty in public.

“A specialised committee made up of representatives from the ministries of interior, justice and health as well as the commissions of investigation and prosecution, the public security and the prison general directorate are looking into a study that replaces beheading by a firing squad,” sources told local Arabic daily Al Youm.

However, the country’s area governors have already been given the right to resort to the firing squad, the sources said.

“They can use their own discretion for the execution if the court does not specify how the capital punishment verdict is to be carried out,” the unidentified sources said. “Using the firing squad is not against Islam.”

According to the sources, the limited number of executioners by the sword was a major reason for the decision.

“They are not readily available everywhere and on some occasions, executions were marred by confusion as the executioner was late in showing up at the designated public place, causing confusion and sparking speculation and rumours,” the sources said.

Cases where a firing squad was used to carry out a capital execution included a woman who was found guilty of murdering her husband and hiding his body.

The woman was executed at the women’s prison in the northern city of Hael.

Her daughter, an accomplice in the murder, was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Offences that could result in the death penalty in Saudi Arabia include murder, rape, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, false prophecy, witchcraft and sorcery.

According to reports, 15 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia this year.

Source: Gulf News, March 10, 2013

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