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The mishnah in Sukkah (48b) tells of a Tzadukki who, on Sukkot, performed a service in the temple incorrectly and all the people in the temple stoned him to death with their esrogim. I would like to know how they were halachically allowed to do so instead of taking him to court and having the normal proceedings of a halachic capital case.

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I don't recall anything in the Torah about stoning Tzedukim with Ethrogim. Maybe they weren't following protocol so closely on the court proceedings, either. – Seth J Dec 26 '13 at 4:08
Yoma 26 also talks about the etrog-pelting but doesn't say they stoned him to death. I see the same language on Sukkah 48, but I'm relying on translation so maybe something was lost? (Can etrogim even be fatal?) – Monica Cellio Dec 26 '13 at 4:14
To your last point, @MonicaCellio, doubtless they can be fatal. The bes hamikdash was crowded on Sukos. The fellow may have had an eggshell skull, too, I suppose. – msh210 Dec 26 '13 at 4:33
@MonicaCellio even if they were not those who threw them would be chayav for damages! – please remove my account Dec 26 '13 at 14:43
@pleaseremovemyaccount if there are damages, yes. I've never been pummeled by etrogim so I have to use my imagination, but it seems more like bumps & bruises & a dry-cleaning bill, y'know? (Though I grant the eggshell-skull possibility.) The question seems to assume that (a) this caused death and also (b) it was a halachically-proper response rather than a mob acting in the heat of the moment, and I'm not so sure either applies. – Monica Cellio Dec 26 '13 at 15:29

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