Here’s a fascinating graphic about how Iran conducts stonings. The executions are quite regulated…and still quite barbaric. But hey, the mullahs are trying hard to give a patina of civilization to their 14th Century ways. (You can also view this PDF file.)
One rule says, “The size of the stone used in stoning shall not be too large to kill the convict by one or two throws, and at the same time shall not be too small to be called a stone.”
Another rule says that adulterers can go free if they manage to wriggle out of the hole in which they are buried. Men are buried up to their waist, women up to their chest. Advantage (no surprise, this being Iran): men.
Stonings typically take 30 minutes to 2 hours for the person to die. A doctor periodically checks to see if the person is dead yet.