Since Saudi Arabia is based on a religion of Islam, there is no official code to address crimes. So there are no strategies to juveniles. Everyone is treated as an adult when charged. United Nations and other countries in the world have criticized this saying that the Saudi Criminal system is inhuman. In Saudi Arabia, the criminal justice system is practiced to everyone even the underage which has aroused some issues around the world (Saudi Arabia, 2017). Judges in Saudi uses wide range of discretion and the law stems from the practice of Islam. An offense committed by children is treated like an adult leading to the imprisonment of children under the age of 18 and even execution. The paper seeks to critically focus on the Juvenile criminal system of Saudi Arabia then compare it to that of the US.
Taking a look at the case of Saudi Arabia, studies have shown that Saudi legal cases in most occasions fail to meet the definition of the textbooks of the inquisitorial. However, focusing on the penal system in the US is simply inquisitional which is totally different from that of Saudi. It is simply a legal system such that the court actively engages in the investigation of the facts of a given case. According to NCJRS Abstract (2017), the US has a civil legal system that is suitable for the adoption and implementation of inquisitorial systems is used as opposed to common law systems which are lacking in Saudi and might greatly affect the aspect of juvenile justice. Therefore, they tend to operate in a particular sharia sphere, and all charges that are presented to court are determined within the Hanbali precedents together with the ulama. Ulama in this case just means a body of Muslim Scholars recognized for having experienced knowledge on Islamic Sacred Law. According to Saudi Arabia (2017), the Islamic Sharia clearly set out what is right and wrong based on the Quran and the Sunnah; it is thus the primary foundation of Saudi Arabia criminal system and treats everyone equally when it comes to the application of justice irrespective of age. Sharia sources comprise of the Islamic scholarly consensus as developed after Muhammad's death. The state exclusively uses Sharia in the most un-codified form which further affects the quality of justice delivered. On the other hand, US also uses the common law when it comes to summary hearings particularly in the misdemeanor’s case, for instance, minor drunk driving and this ensures that they deliver justice in the most suitable way unlike when on sharia is used.
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Relevant historical background
Modern criminal justice system of the modern day the US was modeled after the 1962 penal code. It emerged as a result of numerous evolutionary changes that the states went through since the US inception. For years, US developed a mechanism that instituted and enforced the rules of the society in addition to assigning responsibility and punish the offenders. In the modern society, these functions are conducted by the police force and the courts. Before the formation of the formal law, the country relied heavily on the religion and sin as a strategy to shape the society and their behaviors. According to NCJRS Abstract (2017), with the expansion of the community, religious application to direct the criminal justice was less recurrent. These events therefore greatly shaped modern-day criminal justice system. With the intensive transformation experienced in the US judicial system; there was the formation of the court system, the formalized police forces in addition to various correctional facilities.
Saudi Arabia became a kingdom in the year 1924. Their legal system in the year 1992 was entirely founded on Sharia. Sharia Law has been the consensus for the law since the 8th century. Sharia was thus adopted and implemented within the state in a very strict accordance with the construal of the Sunni Islam (Amnesty International, 2016). Since pious Muslims actively supposed that Sharia was holy law, individuals who had to spend adequate time study sharia as judges and qadis men.Faced many changes and factions but the law is based on the Quran and the teachings of the prophet Mohammed. The ministry of justice established in the year 1970 by King Faisal was solely responsible for the administration of the state’s 300 sharia laws. The sharia court comprised of courts of the first instance and appeals courts. In the years 2010, it was announced that the government would attempt to codify Sharia law but has not since been implemented (Treaty Bodies Download, 2017).
Based on the historic background of the two states, it is evident that the US justice system went through an intensive transformation that majorly transformed the modern day system to ensure that justice is delivered as it ought to be. However, the case in Saudi Arabia is different where the state has been using sharia since the kingdom was established and the same rules that might be considered unjust and applied in the olden days still are applied to the modern day. This has affected delivering of justice because it the old society is different from the traditional one and the old laws should be changed to accommodate the current issue to ensure that justice delivery is credible.
Branch of Government to which the Prosecution belongs
In the US, the prosecution belongs to the executive branch of the government. The division of justice ought to be a separate entity from the judiciary to maintain the concept of impartiality within this system. The executive branch comprises of the Police officers, prosecutors, and investigators. The primary function is the prosecution of the law; however, after the formation of the FBI, it also enforces the law. The justice department, therefore, litigates cases before the courts and further investigates activities which might result in litigation or even prosecution.
In Saudi Arabia, the judiciary is one of the Saudi government branches which accurately interprets and applies that law of the country. According to Saudi Arabia (2017), the legal system is further founded on Sharia with the lawyers and judges forming a part of the state’s religious ulama. There are non-sharia government tribunals that are in charge of managing disputes that are related to the royal decrees. The final appeal from the state court and Sharia is the King of the country. The king has the last authority Supreme Judicial Council.
Based on this analysis, it is clear that prosecution belongs to a different arm of the government which greatly enhances their independence to deliver quality justice. However, in Saudi Arabia, the prosecution is not an independent branch and is all required to abide by the rules set in sharia which interferes with delivering of justice.
Role of the Police
The police force is simply a constituted body of individual who are empowered by the state to enforce the law, protect people’s property and further limit potential civil disorder. The police power comprises of the authorized application of force. The police forces are further distinct from the military and other agencies that are engaged in the state defense from any potential foreign aggression. In the US, the police, therefore, are in charge of enforcing the law while maintaining law and order in the country. The police perform the following primary functions, monitoring criminal activities, participate in the nation’s patrol, responding to any emergency call, carry out possible arrests, conduct investigations of crimes and at the same time testify in court (Treaty Bodies Download, 2017).
In Saudi Arabia, the police department is controlled by the Director of the public safety. The Islamic religious police were decommissioned in the years 2016. The Islamic religious police are thus an official vice squad of Saudi state who are in charge of enforcing the Sharia law in respect of the religious behavior. According to Saudi Arabia (2017), the Quran doctrine primarily justifies religious police establishment. The police are in charge of the security and investigations and headed by a member of the Royal family.
From this analysis, the US police enforce the law, protect people’s property and further limit potential civil disorder which tries to ensure that justice is delivered. The Saudi police strictly enforce sharia law and this might not ensure justice because, in the recent years, there have been increased controversies as far as the religious police are concerned where they are seen as limiting secularization while some foreign Islamic imams consider them as the outdated over-conservative annoyance.
Relationship between the Police and the Prosecution
The relationship between the police and the prosecution in the US is independent. These are considered two distinct departments that deal with different function within the justice system. Studies have established that this level of independence is critical since it helps enhance autonomy. Evidently, these various but interconnected segments of the US criminal justice system operate jointly.
Focusing on the police and prosecution relationship in Saudi Arabia, the two were reported to work together to maintain law and order in the society. The judiciary was not considered as an independent agency but as a part of the larger political power. Historically, the qadi's decision was subject to review by the ruler and whose primary role was to make sure that the entire Islamic community in Saudi Arabia lived by the Sharia. The traditional relationship between the king and the qadis has continued to prevail even in the Saudi Arabia (Amnesty International, 2016).
The independence of the Police and the Prosecution in the use evidently ensures that there is no interference and justice delivered is credible. Focusing on the Saudi Arabia the Police and the Prosecution work together under the sharia law hence there is no autonomy. This implies that there is a lot of interference from outside sources which might negatively influence justice in the country. The King has a greater influence in such a relationship hence pointing towards issues related to justice.
Role of the Prosecution
In the US, the prosecutors are simply lawyers whose function entails representing the people against those individuals charged with violation of the criminal laws of the US. The prosecutor is also accused of the role of delivering justice, an advocate beside being a court’s officer, therefore; he is required to apply sound prudence when carrying out his or her roles. They also seek reform and improve the criminal justice administration.
In Saudi Arabia, the prosecution is primarily charged with the duty of applying the sharia principles as derived from the Sunnah and Quran. The Saudi Muslims hold onto the notion that Sharia is derived from Quran and Prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Arguably, the Islamic practices referred to as Sharia has its origins in proportional regulation and urf and it is the duty of the prosecution to uphold them (Amnesty International, 2016).
In this case, it is clear that the prosecutor aims at seeking fairness rather to the offender and this might result in justice but in Saudi Arabia, the prosecutor is majorly charged with the duty of applying sharia principle therefore, he might not go against sharia to deliver justice to a juvenile offender since they are strictly required to abide by the harsh sharia laws.
Number of Prosecutors
By the year 2015, there were about 2,437 17% female attorneys in the US. According to a study undertaken by San Francisco-based Women’s Donor Network, about 17 percent of all the voted and actively served prosecutors throughout the US were females and among them, 1 percent were women from other ethnic groups.
In Saudi Arabia, women are strictly forbidden from being Lawyers, judges, or prosecutors. It is important to note that the women rights are limited and thus are not expected to participate in the public spheres (Treaty Bodies Download, 2017). Those women who have defied the religion to pursue their carriers in the public domain are very few. In the years 2013 for instance, Saudi Arabia had registered its first ever females trainee lawyer by the name, Arwa Al-Hujaili. In addition to this, when in court, the testimony of a single man Saudi Arabia is believed to be equal to that of two women.
Evidently, in the US there is a significant level of equality as far as women prosecutors are concerned unlike in Saudi Arabia. With increased number of a female prosecutor, there are higher chances that justice to women might be achieved. However, in Saudi Arabia, sharia law has limited women powers to participate in a public sphere. Therefore, there are no female prosecutors meaning that justice particularly towards female defendants might not be achieved.
Number of Crimes handled annually
Based on the FBI Releases 2014 Crime Statistics, approximately 1,165,383 Violent Crimes are treated each year in the US. The number of crimes nationwide dropped by 0.2 percent in the year 2014 compared to 2013 data. According to NCJRS Abstract (2017), property crimes further were reported to have reduced significantly by 4.3 percent. In 2014 statistics established that violent crime rates were approximated to be about 365.5 offenses in every 100,000 inhabitants while property crime rate was about 2,596.1 crimes per 100,000 citizens. In a general view, the violent crimes dropped by 1.0 percent when contrasted to the rates reported in the years 2013 and the property crimes levels dropped by about 5.0 percent. Countrywide, there were about 8,277,829 property crimes.
The crimes rates in Saudi Arabia in most instances are described as very low by the foreign ministries together with various reliable sources. In the year 2013, for example, the total number of crimes reported by the ministry of justice was approximately 22,113 which were about 102 percent increased from the year 2012. According to Saudi Arabia (2017), Sharia is very strict, therefore; it prohibits some activities that might not be considered as crimes in other states such as consuming pork, drinking alcohol or affection of opposite sex and this has contributed immensely to the reduced number of offenses.
From the case above, based on the criminal figures in the US, it is clear that the system in the US is not very effective in controlling crime. In Saudi Arabia, the crime rates are very low compared to that of US implying that the sharia law is strict and much effective in countering crimes. As a result of the strict nature of sharia law and the fear that one might not receive a just punishment, people have opted to avoid engaging in criminal offenses.
The US structure of the criminal justice is comprised of the US Attorney, States attorneys, and other prosecutors. All these are in charge of ensuring that justice is delivered and at the same time maintain order in the country. In Saudi Arabia, the structure is comprised of the King, the Ulama, Director of Public Prosecutions and other prosecutors (Treaty Bodies Download, 2017).
The US structure of the justice is effective in that it comprise of various groups that are independent to deliver justice unlike in the Saudi Arabia where the various agencies work together as one to apply the Sharia law that might not result in desirable justice.
In the US, the independence of prosecutor is taken with utmost consideration because this is believed to play a significant role in reducing potential influences that might interfere with justice delivery. Therefore, throughout the US, the prosecutors have been acting independently, however, in most instances that may receive instructions to standardize policies. This autonomy facilitates the operation of the prosecutor to ensure credible justice delivery.
In Saudi Arabia, the independence of the attorney is not a significant aspect of the justice system. They believe in the concept of working together to fulfill the objectives of sharia. Therefore, all leaders in the judiciary are required to work towards justice for all as outlined in Sharia law. According to Saudi Arabia (2017), a central inspectorate supervises the office of the prosecutor. In addition to this, there is a Director of Public Prosecutions, who reports to the Attorney General on all the affairs and activities undertaken by the office of the prosecutor.
In the US, the autonomy of the prosecutor is considered to be very critical to ensure that justice delivered in not interfered by any outside forces unlike the in Saudi Arabia where justice is massively influenced by various external forces since the office of the prosecutor is not independent hence can be manipulated by various factors.
Authorities who bring criminal charges
In the US, the Prosecution is the primary authority in charge of bringing criminal charges to courts. After an arrest has been made by the police and then a report filed, the office of the prosecutor reads the reports prepared by the police then determine if the individuals ought to be charged with a given offense. The prosecutor might consult the jury and ask them for the determination of what criminal charges should be filed. Based on a report lodged by the prosecution, the prosecutor might decide to file a complaint with the trial court and in the process set forth charges (Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain n.p).
In Saudi Arabia, the authority in charge of bringing a criminal offense to the sharia courts is the specialized courts, Police or the King. According to Amnesty International (2016), after the police have made an arrest, a report is made the presented to the court by the police. Therefore, these three groups can bring any criminal charge to the sharia court and are given this authority by the sharia Islam law.
From the analysis above, in the US the prosecutor has the absolute power to bring the criminal case to the court. This might imply that the charges will not be doctored or changed on any grounds and it it will be presented as it is enhancing justice. On the other hand, in Saudi Arabia, the police and the king can bring the case to the court. This means that the charges will pass through several agencies before it is presented to the court and this might interfere with the evidence which will further affect justice being delivered.
A criminal offense is merely an official allegation by the government agencies claiming that a person broke the established law. Legality is the maxim for the crime committed when the evidence is sufficient to obtain a conviction. A charging document is often used when it comes to starting a criminal case in court. Before an individual is proven guilty, the charge has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the Saudi Arabia, there exists a Bench Trial System. The King has the ultimate final say over appeals. Criminal offense and punishment are decided by the judicial understanding of the Sharia. It is also important to take into consideration the fact that there is no written penal code in Saudi Arabia (Amnesty International, 2016).
Clearly, in the US prior to being charged, it is the duty of the court to prove that the person is guilt and must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt which is critical towards justice delivery. However, in Saudi Arabia, a person can be charged even before he has proven guilty behind any reasonable doubt as stated in sharia law hence affecting the quality of justice being delivered.
Rights of the defendant
In the US, the Fifth Amendment was established to protect the defendants against self-incrimination specifically. The defendant has the absolute right to remain silent and be protected from double jeopardy. All the Criminal defendants have the right to remain silent during the arrest or when presented before the court. Further, the accused person has the right to request a defense counsel (Treaty Bodies Download, 2017).
The defendants’ rights are very few if any. The criminal justice system is plagued with arrest without warrant, delays in trials and prolonged detention. There is no trial to bail, and there are occasions when a defendant can be confined even without being formally charged. According to Saudi Arabia (2017), the defendant is prohibited from accessing the services of lawyers to represent them and protect them from judge intimidation. To address this problem, Shura Council created public defender program in 2010. A defendant has the right to appeal the jury’s decision to the ministry of justice, and when it is a severe case, he or she might appeal to the court of appeal.
In the US the defendant has absolute right to be protected at the time of his arrest and throughout the trial which enhances justice delivery. On the other hand, a defendant has very limited rights and he or she might not be able to access justice. There are increased injustices that are directed at defendants in Saudi which compromises justice in the country.
In the US, during the custody, defendants have access to the counsel, and further have the right to a speedy trial. It is the duty of the courts to ensure that they review and amend various conditions of the pretrial release at any time before the trial as considered appropriate. In Columbia, the courts are required to critically review upon application the defendant’s condition that had been granted release but had remained in custody merely because they are not able to meet those specified conditions. Any defendant who remains under custody after the review is able to appeal to the higher court.
In Saudi Arabia, during the pre-trial, any defendant tends to have limited right. There are massive instances of arrests made without warrants in addition to treatments considered as undignified particularly at the time of the interrogation. According to Saudi Arabia (2017), some of the defendants are forced to undergo a prolonged detention without the valid reason. The trials in most occasions are delayed for a very long time such that the accused spend a long time in prisons without having being charged (Amnesty International, 2016). Police forces have also been on record for beating defendants mercilessly with the aim of obtaining confessions to be used in a trial. Further, a defendant t might not be able to access bail.
Pretrial detention is critical in the US and it is highly considered when delivering judgment to ensure that they deliver justice to defendants. In Saudi Arabia, the defendants do not have any pretrial detection right and are often unjustly treated in the hands of those who are supposed to safeguards their rights and protect them.
Prosecutorial powers in regards to a criminal offense
The prosecutorial powers in regards to the criminal offense in the US are investigative. The federal prosecutors have enormous powers. Even those forms of investigations that do not lead into in any charges have the potential to destroy lives, ruin a reputation, and drive their targets into bankruptcy. Therefore, when a prosecutor wishes to destroy one’s life he has the power to do so. For any prosecutor who wrongly arrests, charges or even tries citizens based on the mere misunderstanding of the law often faces no sanction or repercussions. Prosecutors in the US are protected by an absolute immunity that ultimately shields them from liability no matter how egregious their mistakes (Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain n.p).
In Saudi Arabia, the prosecutorial powers in regards to the criminal offense are almost complete. In the year 1986, the state established Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecutions. The Bureau members seem to have full independence, and further are only subject to the Sharia provisions and the statutory laws (Amnesty International, 2016).
The investigative role of the prosecutor in the US ensures that they work to specifically gather evidence to be presented to the courts for judgment making which is critical towards ensuring that just prevails. In Saudi Arabia on the other hand, the prosecutor does not have a defined role but they all work towards applying sharia. Therefore, without the investigative role of the prosecutor in Saudi Arabia, justice being issued is often greatly influenced by external factors.
Percentage of reported offenses for which an indictment is filed
An indictment is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime. In the US, the total number of reported offenses for which an indictment is filed is less than 10%. The jury often tries the indictable offenses not unless in a situation where the defendant waive his or her right to the jury’s trial. However, the Sixth Amendment allows every individual charged with a criminal offense the right to a jury trial.
In Saudi Arabia, an element of the indictment is often equal irrespective of the jurisdiction. In most instance, it just entails of short statements that focus on where, when and how a defendant allegedly committed a specified offense. According to Saudi Arabia (2017), indictment for certain complex crimes such as those of conspiracy might run to a hundred pages, but on the other hand, indictment for crimes that are serious such as murder might entail of a single sheet of paper.
In the US, the number of offenses that indictment was filed is very few meaning that the justice system is very effective and follows the rule of law to ensure that justice is administered to the defendant at the most suitable approach. Unlike in the US, in Saudi Arabia, there are numerous offenses that indictment was filed implying there was no justice being delivered nut all actions were meant to apply the sharia.
Plea bargain agreements
The plea bargain is simply an agreement within any criminal case between the defendant and the prosecutor where a defendant is asked to agree to be at fault for a given offense to access some significant dispensation from prosecutors. In such an instance, the defendant would be required to plead guilty to the lesser crime for other charges against him to be dropped or to receive a compassionate verdict. It will, therefore, allow both partners involved in a case to avoid a lengthy criminal trial and at the same time enable the defendant to avoid the conviction risk during a trial. It is cost efficient (Treaty Bodies Download, 2017).
In Saudi Arabia, they strictly follow Sharia which is founded on the Islam religion (Amnesty International, 2016). The Quran advocates for truth and justice and the consequences of lying are harsh based on Sharia law. There is currently no reliable information regarding plea bargain agreement in Saudi Arabia.
Based on this analysis, in US majority of the cases have been associated with plea bargain agreement where the prosecutor tries as much to ensure that the defendant is justly tried in a humane way. However, in Saudi, the sharia law strictly prohibits plea bargain agreement and thus there are increased instances of being unjustly tried. An individual will be tried on every account of crimes he committed hence end up getting worst human punishment that is unjust.
Prosecutor during the investigation continues to the trial hearing
In the US, the prosecutor during the inquiry will proceed to the trial hearing. It is because the prosecutor is the one responsible for presenting charges to the court, therefore, during a survey; he will be able to gather enough evidence that would enable him to complain to the judges in the court.
In the case of Saudi Arabia, the prosecutor might testify during the investigation might not always continue to the trial hearing because there are other groups of people can also present a case or a charge to the sharia court (Amnesty International, 2016). For instance, the prosecutor might gather evidence and write the report then present to the king or the special police who will then submit it to the court.
The fact that the prosecutor during the investigation continues to the trial hearing ensures that there is no outside interference that would impact evidence and judgment and in the process maintain justice. However, this is not the case in Saudi where the prosecutor during the investigation might not continue to the trial hearing and the ling police will present charges. This creates room for manipulation of evidence which will interfere with justice being delivered.
Role of the Court
The federal court in the US plays a significant role. It is the duty of the court to determine what exactly happened and what ought to be done (Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain n.p). The court determines whether an individual committed an absolute crime in question and the type of punishment to be given. The court can further offer a peaceful approach to determine a private dispute that individuals might not adequately resolve. In a general view, the court is in charge of finding the truth. It has a duty to take reasonable measures to clarify any aspect of the case; the parties' requests do not bind it.
In Saudi Arabia, the state’s legal system is majorly founded on the sharia with judges being part of the ulama. The courts, in that case, are in charge of upholding the Sharia law. The courts determine the case to identify if the defendant is guilty of a crime then pass charge according to the provisions of the Sharia law (Amnesty International, 2016).
The duty of the court in the US is to determine whether the defendant if the guilt of an offense then tries him or her based on the evidence provided to ensure that justice is achieved. In Saudi Arabia, the courts are only established to uphold sharia and not to determine whether an individual is guilty or not meaning that he or she might be judged unjustly.
Focusing on the US criminal justice, the state is government by the principle of legality. This legality principle just means that there is no crime or punishment without the law. A defendant might not be convicted of a crime that is not identified publicly by the law (Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain n.p).
The principle in Saudi Arabia is firmly founded on sharia law. The religious law as derived from the Quran and Hadith direct justice provision. It is believed that Sharia is the ultimate determinant of whether an individual is guilty and they deliver justice in the most suitable and just way.
Evidently, the legality principle is designed to guarantee primacy of the law in any criminal procedure to ensure that neither the defendant nor the prosecution is exposed to the arbitrary bias and in the process ensure that justice is achieved. In Saudi Arabia, sharia determines justice provision which is not always just.
Rights of the defendant
In the US, the Fifth Amendment protects a person from self-incrimination and double peril. Every defendant further has the right to remain silent. Further, a defendant will continue to be innocent in the US justice system until he or she is proven guilty by the court. In addition to this, it is the right of the defendant to be compensated if found innocent, for any damages: including detention.
In Saudi Arabia, there are very few rights of the respondent or even do not exist at all. The right of the accused in most instances is at the discretion of the King and Sharia law interpretations (Amnesty International, 2016).
The defendant’s right is highly considered implying that despite the fact that one has committed a crime, he or she has the right to remain silent and to be treated fairly. This is different in Saudi Arabia where the defendant’s rights are massively minimized. This point towards the direction that in Saudi Arabia the defendant might not access justice as is the case in the US.
Prosecutor’s role during the trial
In the US, the prosecutor is charged with various functions (Bill, 2016). First, he or she is entrusted with the duty of pleading, presenting evidence and at the same time argues the case. In addition to this, the prosecutor further recommends a probable charge that should be given to the defendant if found guilty. Lastly, in the event the prosecutors fail to prove guilty, he must apply for acquittal.
In Saudi Arabia, the prosecutor is responsible for presenting evidence and pleading to the case before the sharia law. However, other groups can also file a case to the sharia court including the King and the religious police.
Arguably in the US, the role of the prosecutor is aimed at ensuring the defendant receives justice based on the evidence presented in courts. In Saudi, the prosecutor is only after applying Sharia rather than advocating for defendant’s fair trial by present factual evidence.
Grounds for appeals
The ground for appeals tends to vary significantly from states. In the US for instance, the reasons for appeal include the violation of the rule of evidence. In addition to this, failure to prove without a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty can be used as a ground for appeal in the US.
In the case of Saudi America, there are also few grounds for appeals as provided by the sharia law that governments order and justice delivery. One of the instances that might function as reasons for appeal is the death penalty (Amnesty International, 2016). A defendant is given the opportunity to file an appeal for the case to be heard again and determined. The second ground for appeal is the amputation of limbs where a defendant is also allowed to file an appeal and be listened once again.
Violation of rule of law when delivering justice in the US is the primary ground for appeal and this enhances justice to the defendant. In Saudi Arabia, a defendant can only appeal when sentenced to death or any other severe judgment. However, the major offenses might not be appealed even in instances where the judgment delivered is unjust.
Right to appeal
In the US, the right to appeal is provided by the prosecution after the court has ruled its judgment. The defendant has the right to appeal in case he or she feels that the decision of the court was biased or unfair. When focusing on the Saudi Arabia right to appeal, a defendant may appeal death sentences, amputation, or more severe crimes to the King and the Ulama.
Evidently, the right to appeal is of the essence in the US when a defendant feels that he or she has been unfairly convicted while in Saudi, the right to appeal is limited and only applies to severe punishment such as corporal punishment hence creating room for unjust treatment.
Percentage of acquittals
In the US, the total percent of the acquittals were reported to be approximately 7 percent countrywide. On the other hand, focusing on the Saudi Arabia case, the available research has not established the exact number of the percent acquittals in the country (Amnesty International, 2016).
The percentage of acquittals is huge as a result of the effectiveness of the system which promotes justice delivery. In Saudi however, there are no records for the acquittals but they are very few because the sharia law demands that all criminal offense has to be punished accordingly to uphold peace and unity in the society.
When focusing on the punishment of minors in the US, the Age of a person responsibility is about 18 years and above (Bill, 2016). There are instances where certain serious criminal offenses tend to carry over to the time when a person is older.
In Saudi, a minimum age of an individual to be liable for a criminal offense is 12 years. However, the case might not be the same as far as the girls are concerned or even in the qisas case (Amnesty International, 2016). For instance, the Detention Regulation and the Juvenile Homes’ Regulation 1975 clearly stated that a juvenile is a person of ages between 18 years old. There exist numerous minor provisions, and the Sharia stipulates that they must also be charged in line with the laws. However, the law does not say that every child must be tried within the juvenile justice system.
Evidently, children in the US often do not face any judicial court system since they lack the consent to be in a better position to stand for justice in the criminal court of law which implies that justice can be achieved since the child might commit a crime without knowing hence there is no need to punish him or her. In Saudi however, even children are not immuned to the criminal behavioral punishment. They are all treated equally before sharia law implying that they tend to be given unfair judgment just like adults.
Juvenile Death Penalty
In the year 2005, the US Supreme Court determined that the death penalty for individual who were engaged in crime at a less than 18 years was inhuman and as a result of this, it was barred by the state constitution (Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain n.p).
According to Amnesty International (2016), Sharia protects youths who have been engaged in crime from possible execution especially those of ages between 18 years of age and below during the time when the offense was committed. However, it is not vivid where the state prohibits the juveniles from execution. These laws tend to be a conflict with the Sharia provisions. For instance, the Arab Charter on the Human Rights is against juvenile execution unless in a situation where the law states otherwise. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia also belongs to the Covenant on the Rights of the Child in Islam, but it is important to note that the covenant does not prohibit juvenile execution.
The juvenile death penalty in the US is strictly discouraged and the constitution prohibits it. There is no justice delivered when a person is sentenced to death. However, this is different in Saudi Arabia where children are also executed. As a result of this, it can be argued that the justice system in Saudi Arabia do not serve juveniles’ rights and they do not receive just punishment for their offenses unlike in the US where the law is against juvenile punishment and execution.
Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (n.p). Alternative Submission to Saudi Arabia’s Third Periodic Report : 73rd Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved from
Amnesty International (2016).SAUDI ARABIA. SUBMISSION TO THE UN COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD. Retrieved from http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/SAU/INT_CRC_ NGO_SAU_24886_E.pdf
Bill, V., E, (2016). Letter to the Committee on the Rights of Child.Child Rights. Retrieved from: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/SAU/INT_CRC_ NGO_SAU_25075_E.pdf
NCJRS Abstract (2017). National Criminal Justice Reference Service .. Ncjrs.gov . Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=108502
Saudi Arabia . (2017). Human Rights Watch . Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/middle-east/n- africa/saudi-arabia
Treaty bodies Download . (2017). Tbinternet.ohchr.org . Retrieved from http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno =INT% 2fCRC%2fSTA%2fSAU%2f25265&Lang=en