Sunday, November 25, 2007

What Will Jimmy Carter Say?

Saudi Arabia beheaded another convicted criminal today. Its 136th for the year. Meanwhile, the US is trailing in that department, having executed about 50 residents of Death Row this year. Even though the difference in absolute numbers is significant and it paints a grim picture of the Saudi Arabian penal code, Saudi Arabia looks far far worse after accounting for population differences. There are 27 million residents of Saudi Arabia, including 5 million foreign nationals. The population of the US is about 303 million. Thus, if the US executed people with the same determination as Saudi Arabia, the US toll would have passed 1,526 by this time.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi authorities on Sunday beheaded a citizen convicted of shooting a man in the head with an assault rifle, the Interior Ministry said.

In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, the ministry said that Ali bin Suweid Al-Domnan killed Diyab bin Ali al-Mansour following an argument in the southern city of Najran.

Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam under which those convicted of murder, drug trafficking, rape and armed robbery are executed in public with a sword.

Sunday's execution brought to 136 the number of people beheaded in the kingdom this year, according to an Associated Press count. Saudi Arabia beheaded 38 people last year and 83 people in 2005.


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