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Study proposes new ways to apply the death penalty
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 06 - 2015


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — A researcher has proposed three new ways of carrying out capital punishment as an alternative to beheadings, Makkah daily reported.
Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri, a researcher at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, said he conducted a study on the feasibility of using modern means of execution and suggested that fatal injections, the gas chamber and firing squads could be the way forward for carrying out death sentences.
He said: “Capital punishment used to be applied in the past through beheading by sword or the guillotine, by burning, hanging or stoning. My study looks into using new methods such as electrocution, firing squads, gas chambers and fatal injections.”
He also said in Islam there are four criteria to validate a method of carrying out the death penalty.
“The method must be swift and cause little or no pain to the convict, the method must not mutilate the convict's body, it must be approved by the family of the convict's victim in case the death sentence was for murder and it must not be forbidden in Islam.”
He said he analyzed all modern execution methods and compared them against each other based on Islamic criteria.
“The firing squad is not preferable as one could lose the vital organs and cause mutilation. However, it is allowed if the shooter is extremely sharp and rarely misses his target.
Otherwise, it causes pain and slow death, violating one of the criteria.” He said the second method is the electric chair, invented by Harold Brown in 1888.
He said: “Electrocution is absolutely forbidden in Islam. The convict does not die until the third electric shock.
“In the first shock, the convict suffers from acute muscular pain and is fully conscious. In the second shock, the convict loses part of his consciousness but still feels the pain. It is only by the third shock when the convict's organs stop functioning and he dies 15 minutes later.”
He also said the third method of death is great doses of anesthetics, a method famously performed by Adolf Hitler's escort physician Karl Brandt.
He said: “The convict would be injected with three gradual doses of an anesthetic. The first dose is five times more than what is needed to perform surgery and it causes the convict to lose consciousness.
“The second dose is to cause the convict's heart to stop beating and the third dose causes the respiratory system to stop functioning.”
He said death by anesthesia is the most merciful way to carry out capital punishment as the convict will only feel the prick of a needle. He said the last method he reviewed was the gas chamber.
“The convict would be locked in a room with the poisonous gas gradually leaking in. The gas is scented, encouraging the convict to inhale it. “The gas immediately erodes the lungs and causes the convict to die within 15 minutes depending on how much gas he has inhaled.” He added the gas chamber is a merciful way to execute the death sentence.


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