The worst parts of the Saudi Arabian justice system like punishment by amputation of limbs are not exclusive to adult members of the society. According to the Juvenile Justice Act, all laws of Saudi Arabia apply equally to all members of the society regardless of age. In fact, the law does not explicitly state what category of punishments should be assigned to a certain set of crimes. This technically leaves it to the judges to decide on the fate of criminals. However, the rulings must be within the bounds of the Islamic law as contained in the Sharia law. In terms of punitive measures, the country’s system divides its offences into punishment by retaliation and mandatory punishment offences and discretion punishment offences. Although the law states that the minimum age that should face justice is 12, the system does not strictly follow this as the constitution gives the judges power to decide otherwise. On the other hand, the United States has a special tribunal to try cases committed by minors who are yet to reach the age of the majority citizens. According to the literature, cases committed by these minors are treated quite differently from that of the adult populations (Metz, 1992).
In conclusion, a range of differences exist between the two criminal justice systems, despite them having some similarities. For instance, while the Saudi Arabian criminal justice system was founded upon the Islamic Sharia law, the United States criminal justice system was founded upon the common law, thus giving it a great resemblance to many other systems in Europe. In addition, the United States system is very democratic and focuses on protecting citizens as compared to the Saudi Arabian system that focuses on the safety of the ruling class.
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