As the rules of the court were so strict, was the King suppose to execute justice?

In modern times there are cases where say a mob boss orders multiple murders and there are no witnesses. I assume the King would have such people executed?


1 Answer 1


The king (and the court at times) had special license to kill murderers who were not liable to execution by the court. See Rambam's Mishne Torah Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh 2:4-5 (and 2:2 for the cases to whom this applies which include your mob boss)

When a Jewish king desires to slay any of these murderers and the like - who are not liable for execution by the court - by virtue of his regal authority, in order to perfect society, he has the license.

Similarly, if the court desires to execute them as a result of a immediate fiat, because this was required at the time, they have the license to do as they see fit.

If the king did not execute them, nor did the court deem the time as such to require strengthening the strictures against murder, it should nevertheless have the murderer beaten with severe blows - so that he is on the verge of death - and imprisoned, deprived and afflicted with all types of discomfort in order to strike fear and awe into the hearts of other wicked men, so that this death should not be a stumbling block and a snag for them, causing them to say: "Let me arrange to have my enemies killed the way so-and-so did, and I will not suffer the consequences."

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