Ibn Saud as a Judge - 449

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Ibn Saud as a Judge.

A woman demanded the death sentence on the killer of her husband.

‘What is the evidence?’ asked Ibn Saud.

‘This man was up in a date-palm picking the fruit. My husband was sitting peacefully below until this man, this murderer, fell on him from above and broke his neck, so that I am left a widow and my children are fatherless.’

‘Did he fall on your husband by design so as to kill him?’ asked the king.

‘I know not,’ she replied, ‘but my husband is dead and I am alone.’

‘Will you take the compensation that I adjudge,’ asked the king, ‘or do you still demand the life of the accused ?’

‘By the Holy Law his life is forfeit to me,’ said the widow.

‘So be it,’ said Ibn Saud, after a short pause. ‘His life is forfeit to you. Only the manner of his death is in my hand.’

‘The palm is forty feet high. I direct that the accused be bound to the trunk and that you, woman, shall climb up to the top of the tree and from there fall upon the accused and so take his life. It is your right. Go—take your right. ... Or perhaps you will still agree if I award compensation?’

The widow quickly took the compensation and was gone.

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