Crucifixion and beheading for child rapist in Saudi Arabia

A court in Saudi Arabia will uphold a ruling to behead and publicly crucify a 22-year-old man who raped five children and left one of them to die in the desert.


  1. While I normally don’t agree with Saudi law, it’s hard for me to work up much indignation on this one.

    1. I am certainly mixed on this one. I don’t think the state ought to be allowed to kill, but I really don’t mind if this guy is somehow erased from existence.

      The torture part, however, is morally repugnant.

  2. In recent years I have taken stock of my beliefs concerning capital punishment. Capital punishment has never deterred crime and never will. Because “ooops wrong guy, my bad” will not bring a person back to life it should be used in only extreme circumstances.
    That said:
    If there is no doubt to the mans guilt, I think they are going easy on this DB. For the children in this story their lives will never be the same these acts will effect their entire lives they are now broken people.****** There is not enough mental health workers for Americans in need let alone enough for Saudis.

    1. I agree that capital punishment is not a deterrent to others, but it is one *hell* of a deterrent for the person being executed.

      Again, I’m liberal on just about everything except my gun and capital punishment. So before the bleeding hearts roll in and decry the inhumanity of this decision (if that’s possible) I voice the same argument I always give for these situations: Once you behave in a manner such as this you forfeit all right to claim humanity, therefore the humanity you chose to secede from gets to do with you what they will.

      1. lol. humanity isn’t something anyone ‘has a right to’ or can ‘claim’ or be denied access to. it’s what you are. even the most radical furries.

        1. Sorry, you’re born human… but once you act like an animal, you can kiss being treated like a human goodbye. We have 6 billion humans on the planet, we aren’t in need of keeping anyone around who perpetrates these sorts of acts on another human. And yes, that rule can be applied to me immediately if I get that far out of line.

    1. ftfa: “In Saudi Arabia, crucifixion means tying the body of the convict to wooden beams to be displayed to the public after beheading.”

  3. No sympathy for the perp, but I trust Gandalf on this one:

    “Deserves death? Many that live deserve death, and many who die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too quick to deal out death in punishment, for even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

  4. I didn’t know governments still practiced crucifixion.

    Well they’re more like a tyrannical monarchy than anything else, that’s such a downer though. They’re friendly with the U.S. and that’s the important thing.

  5. No man could ever truly pay for such a crime, but it is always unsettling to see how humans will attempt to quote a high enough price.

    Bloodlust. The most unhealthy natural state.

  6. The Suadi government is a constitutional monarchy, with the Quran as their constitution. They are also the best ally this country has ever had.

    I interpret that the Quranic puniashemtns are the maximum allowable under law, because the Mercy of God is in fact infinite for those who repent.

    So having him rot in prison would be perfectly acceptable.

    1. Best allies we ever had,,,except for all the 9/11 guys, and the oil price control, and the torture, (should I go on or do you get the picture?).

  7. I oppose capital punishment for many reasons. Feeling bad for people who rape and/or murder children is not one of them.

  8. For those of you offering the “dangerous path” claim, I guess you’re with the congress critters that openly denounced the bill that allowed you to sue about rape? Because once you can’t enter into arbitration for that, you eventually can’t use it for anything, right?

    1. If you do not understand the difference between a bill regarding reporting rape and the goverment putting people to death, there’s something deeply wrong, my friend.

  9. >>”…once you act like an animal, you can kiss being treated like a human goodbye.”

    Lord Greystoke would like a word with you.

  10. Saying that is an appropriate punishment is one thing, actually beheading and crucifying a rapist is another thing entirely.

    I suspect these Saudi’s could teach Boing Boing’s resident ‘internet tough guys’ a few things. Let’s start a travel fund for them to go for a visit.

  11. I’m always ticked to see when the kneejerk reactions of red-blooded Americans turn out to be so in tune with those of the sharia-lovin’ Muslims so many red-blooded Americans think they’re in a culture war with.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If America was a true democracy (*shudder*), it’d be a lot like Saudi Arabia, except with hot pants and subsidized Budweiser.

  12. I also believe that anyone who a random Reuters article claims that the Saudi government claims is guilty of horrible things should be put to a horrible death.

  13. 1. Clearly the threat of punishment did not deter the rapist from committing his crimes. Therefore, it stands to reason that this punishment will in no way prevent similar crimes in the future.
    2. Humans are fallible, and as a result, there is always a chance that we can incorrectly accuse and incorrectly convict. Therefore, we should practice no punishments that are irreversible.

    1. “Clearly the threat of punishment did not deter the rapist from committing his crimes. Therefore, it stands to reason that this punishment will in no way prevent similar crimes in the future.”

      Whoa there, chief! That’s not even CLOSE to a logical/reasonable assumption. Just because it didn’t deter HIM, does in no way mean that it didn’t deter HUNDREDS of others.

      I have been sucessfully robbed at gunpoint before, but I don’t rob others for myriads of reasons – including the reason that I don’t want to be part of the penal system should I get caught.

      “Therefore, we should practice no punishments that are irreversible.”

      All punishment is “irreversible” – you can’t give back years in prison, either.

      Thanks for voicing your opinion.

      1. “Just because it didn’t deter HIM, does in no way mean that it didn’t deter HUNDREDS of others.”

        By that reasoning, my haircut has prevented hundreds of tiger attacks.

        “I have been sucessfully robbed at gunpoint before, but I don’t rob others for myriads of reasons – including the reason that I don’t want to be part of the penal system should I get caught.”

        I should hope that there are many more things in the “con” column of your armed robbery pro/con list.

        “All punishment is ‘irreversible’ – you can’t give back years in prison, either.”

        No, you certainly can’t. But you can give their future back to them. That’s significant.

        1. “By that reasoning, my haircut has prevented hundreds of tiger attacks.”

          So it has, it would seem.

          You say that my arguement proves nothing – I say the same for yours.

          We are both correct – which actually makes my point.

          1. Santa’s Knee:

            The problem is that you are using unsupported speculation as a rationale for ceding tremendous power to the state. If you’re going to give a fallible government the authority to kill people then you should be able to support that decision with tangible evidence, like “places with capital punishment have fewer violent felonies.”

    2. While I agree with your general point g.park, it’s impossible to determine how many people might have raped, but didn’t. A specific lack of deterence does not imply a general lack of deterence.

  14. If in dealing with the inhumane, we lose sight of our humanity ourselves, then who are we to dish out judgement?

  15. a fence is a deterrent. the cinsequences of crossing it are a punishment. not the same thing at all and I have no idea how people getting them confused. this execution isn’t happening out of a belief that doing so will prevent the next guy but rather out of the belief that fewer people in this world who would do such a thing is a greater good.

    capital punishment is often taken too lightly, but how many serial killers were proven innocent afterwards? there is a time when it’s the right thing to do.

    1. What is the point of punishment if it does nothing to prevent future crime? To satisfy some reptile-brain desire for blood?

      “…fewer people in this world who would do such a thing is a greater good.”

      When the state (of which we are all a part) kills someone, we all kill that person. We have replaced one killer with many.

      1. “When the state (of which we are all a part) kills someone, we all kill that person.”

        And THAT’S why I pay my taxes – to get in on the action…

  16. We shouldn’t be celebrating this because when you let a mob mentality dictate policy, everyone is in danger. When you say it’s okay to torture (which this definately is) and kill someone, the average person will believe it’s okay to be that much worse to everyone aorund them. Strong authoritarian punishments beget a society where any disparity in power or position equals the powerful treating the powerless like animals.

  17. And of course, we know absolutely beyond doubt that the man they have is the perpetrator. Because nobody has ever been framed, wrongly accused, had a mistaken identity or being used as a scapegoat.

    … right?

  18. While I don’t exactly have much sympathy for a murder, especially a serial child killer, I have to say beheading and CRUCIFIXION leaves me a little unnerved. I’m not crazy about the idea of regressing to the days of the Roman Empire. You start lowering the bar for what is acceptable behavior regardless of your reasons.

  19. Does this mean they’re going to start beheading those 50 year old guys marrying 11 year old girls? That sounds like child rape to me. Or do you have to leave your victim in the desert to get that punishment?

  20. Um. In Saudi Arabia, you can marry four women and divorce them in the morning. You can also marry a twelve year-old if nobody kicks up a fuss. So my question is – is this a Saudi national or a guest worker?

  21. At least the Saudi’s aren’t executing the children by stoning for having the audacity to be victims of this evil man. I guess that means all the victims are boys.

  22. Also of note is that TFA mentions that at least one of the children is male. And we know how tolerant the Saudi government is of same-sex expression between consenting adults. Even if this is not the typical punishment for child rape in Saudi, add in the specter of Teh Gay and I will totally buy a liturgical judge handing down an atypical sentence.

    Now, we all here on Boing Boing know that raping kids has ZERO to do with sexual orientation–one is a violent crime committed against extremely vulnerable people, the other is sexual orientation. But I am not confident that the Saudi courts see the distinction. I am now worried that the surviving children may find themselves targeted again–this time by morals police sniffing them for any suspicion of “sexual immorality” their own selves.

  23. “Crucifixion? Good. Out the door. Line on the left. One cross each.”


    “Well I didn’t expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition.”

  24. Of course, we are all assuming that the man is actually guilty.
    Many people may not be familiar with the stories of several UK citizens some 9 years ago in Saudi Arabia who were arrested and sentenced(to death) for bombing in the country. It was alleged that they had blown up other UK citizens in an alcohol smuggling dispute. It seems that these bombings were actually Islamic extremists targetting westeners but at the time the Saudi rulers didnt want to admit such a problem existed.
    These men were tortured until they ‘confessed’ and this continued for a further 2 years until they were released.
    (Do a search for William Sampson to find out more)

    Kind of leaves you wondering how they treat their own citizens in cases such as these ?
    Did the guy do it, or did the police just decide that he did ?
    If he is truly guilty, then I’ll just quote Monty Python:

    Jailor I: Nnnnnnno, sir! N-no-not with these bo…bastards, sir! Cu-cu-cruuu-c-c-cru-ughugh-c-c-c-crucifixion’s too good for
    ’em, sir.
    Crucifixion Supervisor: I don’t think you could say it’s too good for them, it’s…it’s very nasty!
    Jailor I: Oh, it’s not as nn…nnnn…nnn…no…no…noo…not as nasty as something I just thought of, sir.

  25. I’m on the horrified side of this, but still must reference one of my favorite jokes from Kentucky Fried Movie:
    [Evil Overlord, in “Enter the Dragon” spoof, beheads man then turns to henchmen]
    Evil Overlord: Now, take him away to be tortured!

  26. There are at least 83,600 child abuse cases in the U.S. Giving a conservative number, there may well over be at least 40,000 child molesters (maybe 2:1) in the U.S.

    This case in Saudi Arabia is probably the 1st in years.

    I think the punishment does stop repeat offenders (obviously) and more importantly those that are capable of doing it. We are all human, we call ourselves flawed. In a given population, regardless of culture, we have a set percentage of “sexually deprived” or just plain sick people that are capable of child molestation (done or yet to be done). Saudi Arabia’s capital punishment helps stop potential molesters.

    If ever you may think “what if they are doing it now and they just don’t get caught?” Well it takes a lot of hiding for child molesters to actually hide from God’s country of Saudi Arabia.

  27. When I hear the macho boys denounce the “bleeding hearts,” it always reminds me of the conclusions of evolutionary biologists, i.e. that men implicitly, subconsciously believe if they bluster and express cruel and callous attitudes, it will help them achieve and maintain “dominance.” Practicing, or talking about, sadism toward other men supposedly will get you nookie. (Certainly nothing else explains so many men’s fascination with the objectively tedious enterprise of Football On Television.) War and torture being the unfortunate endpoints of the resulting race to the bottom.

  28. I believe in capital punishment theoretically–i.e., for a crime heinous enough, I believe it is a society’s natural right to execute the perpetrator. That at least prevents any future crimes the perp may commit.

    However, in reality, I tend to oppose capital punishment, because I do not trust in any government’s ability to adjudicate cases perfectly (or even competently/honestly in many cases). That goes double for the Saudi government.

  29. Ultimately, I do not trust the integrity of Saudi Arabia’s court system. For all we know, the crime might be a complete fabrication and the state just wants to get rid of a critic.

  30. Am I missing something or am I the only one who noticed the spelling error? And what does mentioning that say about my level of disgust for this form of punishment?

  31. If he truly is guilty, why not castrate him and leave him at the mercy of the other inmates in jail? Wouldn’t this punishment ultimately be worse and more fitting?

  32. the best ally this country’s ever had? no. that honor goes to france. were it not for the french we wouldn’t exist as a country. we’ve paid them back for saving our skins but it was a huge debt to pay.

  33. While I do not endorse this, and think the on the greater scale it’s a bad idea… It is, on some level, emotionally satisfying. Mind, in this context crucifixion is essentially a modified form of gibbeting. There was always something special about gibbeting, it communicated how to truly pissed off society was with the offender.

  34. Lovely.

    So many people wanting to stop barbaric behaviour with, guess what, more barbaric behaviour.

    Only in USA (and Saudi Arabia, and China. Nice group there).

  35. If you’re going to execute, having public beheadings and displaying the body after the fact (crucifixion) is certainly a way to deter future crimes. I’m against the death penalty myself, but in terms of deterrence, they do a much better job of it that we do in the U.S. where we hide the execution from other would be criminals.

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