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Saudi Authorities Decry Wasteful 3-Hour Death-Row Appeals Process

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Saudi Authorities Decry Wasteful 3-Hour Death-Row Appeals Process

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—Criticizing the amount of time and money wasted between a condemned individual’s sentencing and eventual execution, Saudi government officials expressed frustration Monday over the country’s costly three-hour appeals process for convicts facing the death penalty. “We can’t allow our courts to be bogged down by these frivolous challenges, which are a drain on resources and can delay justice for much of the afternoon,” said prosecutor Ayman al-Kazaz, who added that paying to feed and house capital offenders for up to 180 minutes was “unconscionable.” “What should be a fairly straightforward process is often needlessly put on hold or pushed back until a later part of the day, and these guys waiting for their appeals to be heard are allowed to spend the intervening hour or two just kicking back in a jail cell. It’s ridiculous.” Al-Kazaz later admitted he was optimistic the government would eventually streamline the process by limiting death-row inmates to a single verbal appeal made while the executioner raises his sword.

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