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Stoning or lapidation is a form of capital punishment that was in use in the ancient Middle East and discussed in the Bible under the law presented in the Torah. Stonings are still occasionally carried out in some Islamic countries; it is legally sanctioned in Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Indonesian province of Aceh and parts of northern Nigeria.[1]

In the New Testament, Jesus showed a different way when the Pharisees brought him a woman that should have been stoned under the law, but Jesus responded "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone." When her accusers left, Jesus would not condemn her either and told her "Sin no more" (however, the provenance of this passage is disputed - see Disputed Biblical Translations).

In Iran, stoning is used for men and women convicted of adultery.[2] In Somalia, even 13-year-old girls who have been raped can be accused of adultery and stoned.[3] The Kurds of northern Iraq use stoning to carry out the barbaric practice of honor killing.[4] Of course, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban also use this method of execution for cases of adultery.[5] In the predominantly Muslim Indonesian province of Aceh, the provincial parliament unanimously adopted stoning as the maximum pensalty for adultery in 2009.[6] A movie dramatizing this problem is "The Stoning of Soraya M." [7]

The practice of stoning has been criticized as being cruel and unusual, and in violation the Eighth Amendment,[8]