A very comprehensive article. Worth taking the time to read for anyone wanting to get an overview of several aspects of the Kingdom today.
Everyone knows the rules, what some westerners see as a palpable fear is often a sensible circumspection but I certainly never noticed a general fear and was much further out in the sticks than many. The comparison with Iran on execution is frankly absurd, for sure the Iranians don't behead people publicly, they slowly hang them using cranes. Which is much more humane...
It's the ME, it's the way it is to one degree or another throughout the area. See the barbarism in Iraq and Syria.