Those Saudis don't fuck about, popular wisdom would have it.
The party line runs roughly thus: ruthless application of Sharia law means some pretty condign punishments for breaking the waves. Shoplifting hummous? They'll lop your hand off, without so much as a pre-sentence report.
But I'm not so sure.
Take the case of Muhammed Basheer al-Ramaly. Murdering paedophile, so to let the punishment fit the crime, the authorities have decided that he's going to be publicly beheaded with a sword, crucified, and have his head stuck on a pole pour encourager les autres.
Call that an execution? Whatever happened to chopping off his tackle, sticking it in his mouth first?