L ast week, the Saudi daily Al-Youm reported that Saudi Arabia is considering transitioning away from the state’s institutionalized method of executing convicts: beheading by sword.
Beheading — the approach to carrying out death sentences in the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century — has long been practiced in the kingdom in observance of its strict interpretation of Islamic law, which seeks to mimic practices at the time of Mohammed. But a committee of Saudi government officials recently ruled that execution by firing squad would also be permissible under the national brand of sharia.
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