A prominent Saudi cleric is the focus of controversy as a result of his lenient treatment by a Saudi court after he killed his five-year-old daughter because he suspected she was not a virgin.
Under sharia, the family of a murder victim has the power to grant forgiveness to the killer. Thinking logically, would that not open the gates to payment of blood money and/or threats?
Last year, I had a conversation with a young Saudi who was studying to be a Saudi lawyer. He explained how the death sentence works in his country and how the victim's family can grant mercy to a killer. This is in accordance with sharia. He was frankly surprised when I explained that under American law, a family does not possess that power because murder is considered as also a crime against the state.
He also explained how Saudi Arabia handles apostasy. The accused is given some time and three chances to recant and return to the fold. If he or she does not take advantage of these opportunities, he or she is then executed. That is in accordance with sharia law as well.