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Published on 12 Mar 2013 | over 4 years ago

Lack of swordsmen may stop beheadings in this country.

Beheadings as a form of punishment has existed for centuries in many parts of the world.

Now, the Saudi Arabian government is considering putting a stop to executions by beheading and using firing squads instead.

They reportedly to do not have enough official government swordsmen on hand, so they are thinking about replacing the practice when needed.

Saudi officials defended their use of beheading as a form of capital punishment when it was used in the controversial case of a Sri Lankan woman accused of murder.

According to Human Rights Watch, 69 people were beheaded in Saudi Arabia last year.

Saudi government swordsmen are trained professionals who also amputate the hands, feet, or tongue of convicted criminals.

One government swordsman says he has executed up to ten people in one day.

Crimes that warrant the death penalty in Saudi Arabia include conviction of murder, rape, armed robbery, drug offenses, or if a person denounces their Islamic faith.

A victim's family can call off an execution at the last minute.

Executions are always done in public, and sometimes the body is displayed on a cross or in one case, hung from a helicopter as an example to other criminals.

What do you think? Should the Saudi Arabian government stop using beheading as capital punishment?
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