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2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

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With crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, 2018 was a deeply violent and barbaric year for Saudi Arabia, under his de facto leadership.
PhotoDeera Square is a public space located in front of the Religious Police building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which public executions (usually by beheading) take place. It is sometimes known as Justice Square and colloquially called Chop Chop Square. After Friday prayers, police and other officials clear the area to make way for the execution to take place. After the beheading of the condemned, the head is stitched to the body which is wrapped up and taken away for the final rites.
This year execution rates of 149 executions, shows an increase from the previous year of three executions, indicating that death penalty trends are soaring and there is no reversal of this trend in sight.
The execution rates between 2015-2018 are amongst the highest recorded in the Kingdom since the 1990s and coincide with the ascension of king Salman to the t…

150-Year-Old Guillotine Replica Sells At French Auction

Guillotine execution
More than four decades after the guillotine was last used in an execution in France, a 150-year-old replica of the device made famous in The Terror that followed the French Revolution has sold at auction for the equivalent of $9,355.

The 10-foot-tall guillotine, described as having "a few dents on the blade" had nonetheless never been used in an actual execution, according to the Drouot auction house.

The auction, which lasted only two minutes, ended with French industrialist Christophe Février putting in the winning bid, which was double the starting price.

Although the guillotine sold on Wednesday is a replica, its sale has sparked some of the same criticism reserved for past auctions of the authentic object.

"They should not be selling this guillotine," a spokesman for a French auction watchdog told the Parisien newspaper. "Objects like the clothes of people who were deported to the (Nazi death) camps and instruments of torture are sensitive."

The Agence France-Presse news agency reports, "That did not, however, stop another going for 220,000 euros ($234,000) in the same saleroom in 2011 when US pop star Lady Gaga was reportedly among the bidders."

According to the BBC, the replica sold on Wednesday "was once on display at a museum of torture in Paris. It was part of a bankruptcy sale of a jazz club that took over the museum's premises."

France abolished the death penalty in 1981 and its last execution by guillotine was in 1977, when Tunisian Hamida Djandoubi was executed at a Marseille prison for the torture and murder of a young woman.

Related: 20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

According to the History Channel, "The origins of the French guillotine date back to late-1789, when Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed that the French government adopt a gentler method of execution.

Although he was personally opposed to capital punishment, Guillotin argued that decapitation by a lightning-quick machine would be more humane and egalitarian than sword and axe beheadings, which were often botched."

The device was famously used in the Reign of Terror, or simply The Terror, a period of inter-factional dispute that followed the French Revolution of 1789.

The Terror lasted from June 1793 to July 1794, when 16,594 people were executed by guillotine, according to official records.

Source: NPR, Scott Neuman, July 12, 2018


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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