Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia

I was asked to write about the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. This is a subject I know little about other than it exists and I’ll routinely read in local newspapers about executions being held in various places of the Kingdom for heinous crimes. So again, I turned to the search engines to learn more about the background on the death penalty and procedures involved.

Saudi Arabia follows Shariah or Islamic law which allows the death penalty. The death penalty is usually handed down on crimes such as sex crimes, drug crimes, murder as well as others. Some crimes which could also result in a death penalty include witchcraft, sabotage, corruption, distribution and consumption of alcohol.

The preferred manner of death is execution by the sword and beheading the accused. This is typically performed in a public square on Friday’s. Towards being more compassionate, the accused is usually drugged before the public execution takes place.

Sometimes instead of an execution, the accused would have the option to pay blood money or “diyya” to the family of a victim. Per wikipedia, paying of blood money is specifically defined as “blood money is the fine paid by the killer or his family or clan to the family or the clan of the victim (compare the abolished traditions of weregild and główczyzna). It is unlawful for a believer to kill a believer except if it happens by accident. And he who kills a believer accidentally must pay Diyat to the heirs of the victim except if they forgive him. The tradition finds repeated endorsement in Islamic tradition; several instances are recorded in the Hadith, which are the acts of Muhammad.” For the complete details, please view:

Most of the time when reading the local papers one will hear of death by execution taking place for drug traffickers and murders.

One Link I found on this subject includes:

and of course wikipedia gives a lot of information on capital punishment which goes beyond the Kingdom but informative nevertheless:

I guess my question is whether fear of the death penalty really prevents or lowers the overall crime rate in the Kingdom?


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