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There is a rule that Ka'asher Zamam vilo Ka'asher Asa: the second set of witnesses have to appear in court "before the punishment" in order that the first witnesses get the punishment Ka'asher Zamam. And it has to be after the court set out his punishment.

Example: Two witnesses come to court and say that Rueven killed Shimon, so the court checks out whether they are true. Let's say they look like valid witnesses and the court says Rueven is subject to death by sword. Then the second pair of witnesses who make the first aydim zomim have to come between now and the actual chopping off of the head of Rueven: two witnesses come to court and say "You were with us etc" making the first set aydim zomim.

So my question is: if this happens but instead of death the punishment is that the defendant becomes a challal (the first witnesses instead said that Rueven (who is a cohen) is a ben grusha, son of a divorcee) so there is no time between when court says he is a challal and actually becoming a challal. What then?

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The Limmud for "before the punishment" is from Kaasher Zamam, not Kaasher Asu (what they planned to do, not what they succeeded in doing).

With a Challal, when the Eidim are made Zomminim, the whole Challal is undone and it is as if it never happened. So in the end they were only planning, they didn't succeed, so they are still under to the din of Kaasher Zamam.

The Riva in Tosfos takes this further (Bava Kama 4b ועדים זוממין) and says that this applies to any monetary payment as well. Since it is possible to return it, it is not something that they succeeded in doing. (The Ri gives a different reason, and thus would have to answer this question like Tosfos in Makkos 2a מעידין אנו באיש פלוני שהוא בן גרושה that the entire verse is not applicable. They don't get "what they intended" - they get lashes instead - so there is no limitation of "what they intended and not what they succeeded in doing" as well).

The Rambam (Eidus 20:2) goes even further and says the only time we apply Kaasher Zamam VeLo Kaasher Asu is with regards to the death penalty. In all other cases (including lashes) the Eidim get punished whether or not they succeeded in their plan.

A lot of ink has been spilled to justify the underlying reasoning of this statement in the Rambam.

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This is interesting. It seems you are saying that anything undo-able cannot fall under the exemption of Kaasher Asu. A good test case would seem to be monetary payments. – Double AA Jul 3 '14 at 17:29
@DoubleAA, I don't think monetary payments is the same thing. When the Eidim become Zommin, the money doesn't reappear in the Baal Din's pocket. – Yishai Jul 3 '14 at 17:32
Physically, not, but kinyan-wise maybe yes. It was a matana betaut. – Double AA Jul 3 '14 at 17:35
@DoubleAA, maybe, and some Rishonim do say that. See the Kesef Mishna on the Rambam I quoted. I'm just saying it isn't necessarily that way, as I don't think it is universally held that money is different. – Yishai Jul 3 '14 at 18:22
I'm only arguing according to your proposed answer that undo-able-ness is relevant. – Double AA Jul 3 '14 at 18:49

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