[Question recently posed to me by a friend]
קידושין דף מ עמוד א---------Kidushin 40a
מחשבה רעה אין הקדוש ברוך הוא מצרפה למעשה שנאמר (תהלים סו, יח) און אם ראיתי בלבי לא ישמע ה' ואלא מה אני מקים (ירמיהו ו, יט) הנני מביא אל העם הזה רעה פרי מחשבותם מחשבה שעושה פרי הקב"ה מצרפה למעשה מחשבה שאין בה פרי אין הקב"ה מצרפה למעשה
But the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not link an evil thought to an action, as it is stated: “If I had regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not hear” (Psalms 66:18). But how do I realize the meaning of the verse: “Behold I will bring upon these people evil, even the fruit of their thoughts” (Jeremiah 6:19)? In the case of an evil thought that produces fruit, i.e., that leads to an action, the Holy One, Blessed be He, links it to the action and one is punished for the thought as well. If it is a thought that does not produce fruit, the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not link it to the action.
Does this mean that "attempted murder",(which was unsuccessful), not only carries no punishment in a Jewish court of law, but not even from Hashem, since it did not come to fruition?
Most of us would agree that attempted murder is quite a severe crime, [as it is judged as such in (non-Jewish) criminal courts], How could Jewish Law, and even Hashem Himself let it go-by without any retribution?
I tried to suggest to my friend that the Gemara does not mean that there is no punishment at all, but that it would not receive as severe a punishment as if it did come to fruition. He posited that The gemara says that one is not punished for the thought of doing an Aveira.
Also he was quite bothered by the lack of any punishment whatsoever for attempted murder in a Jewish court of law.