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Saudi Arabia

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Mia Anderson

on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of Saudi Arabia

Harsh Punishments:
Do they work?
Sharia Law
No criminal code
Trial Procedure very lax

Legal representation frowned upon

One person executed every two days on average, often by beheading

Almost 1/2 of executions in recent years have been for non-lethal crimes

Those with mental-health disabilities and juveniles not excluded from death penalty and harsh punishments (amputation,stoning)

Inconsistent: reports of rehabilitative prisons, as well as prisons with solitary confinement and torture, Judges autonomy etc

Basic Human Right denials: Homosexuality and Blasphemy are punishable by death

But said to have a very low crime rate compared to many countries without harsh punishment: it can be said to act as a deterrent
Saudi Arabia
Death Penalty is legal in over half the states, is very rarely used for crimes other than murder

Very costly, often more costly than a non-death penalty sentence: A 2003 legislative audit in Kansas found that the estimated cost of a death penalty case was 70% more than the cost of a comparable non-death penalty case.

Is the death penalty just?: Racial bias, wrongful convictions.
-77% of death row defendants since 1977 executed for killing white victims: African Americans make up about 50% of homicide victims.
-For every 9 people executed, one identified as innocent

Does it work? From 1991-2014, the murder rate has been consistently lower in non-death penalty states than in death penalty states
The use of the death penalty internationally (narrated by a very monotone voice)

Very strict drug laws: Possession of 0.05 ounce of a controlled substance like heroin or cocaine can result in 2-5 years imprisonment and caning with a rattan whip. Half an ounce of heroin is punishable by death, usually carried out by hanging.
- Under the "Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (Act 234)", you are "presumed, unless the contrary is proved", to be engaged in the consumption of illegal drugs simply from a positive result on a drug test. Section 31 of the act allows for arrests without warrant for up to fifteen days on the mere suspicion of illegal drug use.

Malaysia also impose Sharia law on the muslim population: homosexuality, transgender and pre-marital sex are punishable by law: you can face lashings and a 2 year prison sentence for pre-marital sex. (optional video:

In Malaysia Robbery is punishable by caning: At least six strokes, unless it's committed after 7 p.m and before 7am, for which the punishment is at least twelve strokes.

Is this working as a deterrent? In 2006 the "Robbery" rate was 81.4 per 100,000 of the population, an over 31% rise from the previous year.

The case of Ricky Jackson
Spent 39 years on death row before he was found innocent
received about $2 million for his wrongful conviction
Goals of Punishment: Two Theories
Utilitarian Theory:
-aim of deterring future crime.
-only justified when harm to criminal is less harmful than the crime the criminal might commit.
Retributive Theory:
-focuses on the past actions of a criminal.
-it argues that criminal should get the same pain that is inflicted on the victim.
-'eye for an eye' concept.
Arguments for and against Capital punishment
Right to life
Execution of the innocent
punishment fits the crime
Full transcript