Public executions


A public execution is a form of capital punishment which "members of the general public may voluntarily attend." This definition excludes the presence of only a small number of witnesses called upon to assure executive accountability. The purpose of such displays has historically been to deter individuals from defying laws or authorities. Attendance at such events was historically encouraged and sometimes even mandatory.

While today most countries regard public executions with distaste, they have been practiced at some point in history nearly everywhere. At many points in the past, public executions were preferred to executions behind closed doors because of their capacity for deterrence. However, the actual efficacy of this form of terror is disputed. They also allowed the convicted the opportunity to make a final speech, gave the state the chance to display its power in front of those who fell under its jurisdiction, and granted the public what was considered to be a great spectacle. Public executions also permitted the state to project its superiority over political opponents.

Source: Wikipedia

In 1993, Amnesty International reported that public executions in Saudi Arabia have reached "shocking proportions" in the past year, with a fourfold increase to 105 in the number of people being beheaded publically. The executions often followed grossly unfair trials. One Shi'ite Muslim was beheaded after being convicted of blasphemy and renouncing his faith. He was arrested for throwing stones three years before his execution, and was reportedly tortured and held in solitary confinement for long periods.
(D) Detailed problems