Religion, Economics, and Deskilling Work
Despite the Saudi belief that beheading by skill swordsmen is the way God wants to carry out executions, a shortage of skilled swordsman has led the government to turn to firing squads.
Kirkpatrick, David D. 2013. “Saudis Consider Firing Squads for Executions.” New York Times (11 March): p. A 10.
“After centuries of public beheadings, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considering firing squads as an alternative means of execution. A special inter-ministerial committee has recommended that “because of the scarcity of swordsmen and their unavailability in a number of regions” the princes who govern Saudi provinces should be free to use firing squads, according to a statement from the committee, reported in Saudi newspapers on Sunday.”
“The few officially authorized swordsmen were so busy traveling between different regions to conduct executions that they sometimes arrived late, “which causes security confusion” complicated by “the resulting spreading of rumors through modern technology,” the statement noted. 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.”