March 12, 2013
For my current event, I chose to talk about how Saudi Arabia is considering firing squads as an alternate means of execution. Saudi Arabia has authorized regional governors to approve executions by firing squad as an alternative to public beheading, the customary method of capital punishment in the kingdom A ministerial committee was looking into scrapping beheading as a form of capital punishment. The kingdom has been criticized in the west for its high number of executions, inconsistencies in the application of the law and its use of public beheadings. I found it extremely interesting that capital crimes resulting in the death sentence last year included murder, armed robbery, drug smuggling, "sorcery" and "witchcraft".
This relates to class as we have been discussing the issues around death penalty and it’s actually coinciding with this week’s top headlines. Also, it is important to note that Saudi Arabia is the only country that still executes criminals by beheading, carried out with a sword and conducted in public. The kingdom has beheaded 15 people so far this year and more than 75 in each of the past two years. As of today in our country, there are no firing squads used for execution, and certainly no beheadings. It seems as though Saudi Arabia is quite behind the times when it comes to the death penalty as they still continue to use public beheading and also execute people for crimes that are much lesser than killing someone. As