Sunday, November 26, 2023

Understanding Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia

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Public beheading is one of Saudi Arabia’s most often forms of capital punishment. Rooted from Islamic Law, death penalty in the Kingdom has been well-known around the globe due to a wide range of offensive crimes which could result in death penalty. There are certain points overseas Filipino workers need to understand about capital punishment in Saudi Arabia.

Overview on Capital Punishment
Capital punishment is a legal process wherein the convicted person is put to death by a Kingdom, state or country due to a committed capital crime or capital offense. Also known as death penalty, the word ‘capital’ in Latin name which pertains to head. Hence, nearly all cases of death execution are done by beheading. Besides beheading the convicted person with a sword, capital punishments can also be performed through stoning (most common form of capital punishment for adultery) and firing squad (very rarely performed).

Photo credit: Photograph: Rex Features
Photo credit: Photograph: Rex Features

Unlike other states where death penalty is done privately in prisons, capital punishment in Saudi Arabia is carried out in public. Convicted individuals are said to be sedated first prior to capital punishment. According to Death Penalty Worldwide Organization, Saudi Arabia has no less than 79 death penalty execution in 2013.

Criminal Cases and Offenses Subject to Capital Punishment

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Capital punishment can be imposed to a person committing any of the following crimes:

  • rape
  • murder
  • armed robbery
  • drug use
  • adultery
  • sorcery, false prophecy
  • blasphemy
  • terrorism-related cases
  • arson (or the act of setting fire to an establishment or a building)
  • treason
  • espionage
  • sexual relations
  • military-related offenses

What  is Blood Money
In the concept of criminal law, blood money refers to the amount of money paid by convicted killers to the family of the victims in exchange of their impending capital punishment.

It should be noted however that the amount of blood money vary on the type of criminal offense and country.


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Who are Exempted From Death Penalty
Only few groups of people are exempted from death penalty. People with severe mental illness and juveniles are among them. For many advocates, infliction of pain and suffering on these groups of people are unnecessary and do not bear any social significance. They added that execution of death to these groups of people do unlikely serve as deterrent to others. They further contend that minors are less culpable than adult convicts. The U.S. state of Connecticut is one of the few states that passed on a law to exempt offenders who are mentally incapacitated from death penalty.

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