Questions tagged [capital-punishment]

Questions pertaining to capital-punishment according to Jewish law.

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How do you punish a murderer without witnesses?

Imagine such a case: A woman walks into a girls bathroom with a machine gun, killing someone. Note: This is not the only case where we cannot punish the criminal. This would apply, in my opinion, to ...
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Why does a Kutit child who had sexual relationship with a Jew deserve death? [closed]

I found this link online but found nothing else similar to it anywhere else. I attempted to ask a rabbi who outright refused to read the link and explain it so I’m even more confused. Rambam, the Laws ...
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Capital punishment [duplicate]

Suppose Reuven is sentenced to death for a capital offense; his punishment is him being pushed off the top of a building. Shimon is the one who is chosen by the court to push off Reuven. Later while ...
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Why is this person deserving of death?

הַהוּא גַבְרָא דְּקָא מְצַלֵּי אֲחוֹרֵי בֵּי כְּנִישְׁתָּא, וְלָא מַהְדַּר אַפֵּיהּ לְבֵי כְּנִישְׁתָּא. חֲלַף אֵלִיָּהוּ. חַזְיֵיהּ, אִידְּמִי לֵיהּ כְּטַיָּיעָא, אֲמַר לֵיהּ: כְּדוּ בָר קָיְימַתְּ ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Was the King suppose to expose the death penalty when the court could not?

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 ...
4 votes
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The weird example of a woman seizing a man him by his genitals

"If two men get into a fight with each other, and the wife of one comes up to save her husband from his antagonist and puts out her hand and seizes him by his genitals, you shall cut off her hand;...
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What crime was committed by one who touched the mountain?

From what I have learned, different sins which are punished via the court system deserve different types of death penalties. In Parshat Yitro (19:12-13), the text indicates that one who touches the ...
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Why was the Sanhedrin so opposed to execution?

Why was the Sanhedrin opposed to using the death penalty most times?
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Why aren't all judicial powers stripped, why only capital punishment?

Why is capital punishment only adjudicated when the Temple is standing? If it is because the Sanhedrin needs to convene at the designated location described in Devarim 17:8, then wouldn't the rest of ...
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Judaism position on Mishmeret HaTzniut

What is the Judaism's position on establishing a Va'ad Mishmeret HaTzniut, a private organisation which enforces tzniut rules in a specific community/town. At times they may use intimidation or ...
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How can Rashi (Makkos 5a) suggest that a murderer could escape the death penalty by admitting liability?

In Maseches Makkos 5a , Rashi D.H. מאי טעמא דבעידנא דקא מסהדי maintains that ואילו הוה אתי ומודה הוה מיפטר that the accused who stands to be executed by Beis Din could have got out of the punishment ...
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In Golden Calf tragedy, who was hit with Heavenly plague?

Th the aftermath of the Golden Calf there were two rounds of executions: the massacre of 3000 fellow Jews and the Heavenly plague: "וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־לֵוִי כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל מִן־הָעָם ...
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How were the 3000 victims of the Golden Calf Massacre different from the rest?

In the Golden Calf massacre roughly 3000 people were killed: "וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־לֵוִי כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל מִן־הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כִּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אַלְפֵי אִישׁ׃" "The Levites did ...
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How Golden Calf massacre can be reconciled with the Halachah

In Moses' words, God ordered a massacre in a very specific way: infidels should be executed with swords, and one should target his own relatives first: ".וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר ה' אֱלֹהֵי ...
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Arguments for the abolishment of death penalty

I read that Judaism has stopped executing the death penalty foreseen in the Law.(1). It seems that the Sanhedrin stopped executing the death penalty not out of a free decision but because it was ...
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Murder by infectious disease

If someone intentionally infects another with a potentially deadly disease from which the victim ultimately dies, assuming he was forewarned and it was witnessed by valid witnesses, would a Sanhedrin ...
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Why weren't Tzaddok and Baytos put to death?

Why weren't Tzaddok and Baytos, fathers of the Tz'ddokim and Baytosim, put to death as z'kenim mamrim?
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Delayed Judgement on Rosh Hashana

I heard that the judgement determined on Rosh Hashana does not start to get carried out until some date after the chagim, possibly in Marcheshvan or later. Is anyone familiar with this teaching and ...
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Does God punish a sinner before the sin is committed?

Follow up to the question "By what standards does Judaism hold infants accountable for sin?". The issue raised was how could God hold infant Amalekites accountable for sins they did not ...
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How Could David Kill the Ger Amaleki Based on Halacha?

In Shmuel Bet, David Hamelech kills the Ger Haamaleki for killing Shaul. However, the only reason he knew this was because of his own admission. How does this relate to אין אדם משים עצמו רשע, the fact ...
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What is the basis in the Torah permitting a king to kill someone?

Rambam in the laws of kings 3:10 states כל ההורג נפשות שלא בראיה ברורה. או בלא התראה. אפלו בעד אחד. או שונא שהרג בשגגה. יש למלך רשות להרגו ולתקן העולם כפי מה שהשעה צריכה. והורג רבים ביום אחד ותולה ...
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How did the altar indicate that the sons of Shaul were to be killed?

In Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 6:7 (also found in bYevamot 79a with an alternate girsa) King David uses the altar to indicate which of Shaul's son's should be given over to the Gibeonim. אמר להן הריני ...
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Why wasn't Reish Lakish punished for his crimes as a bandit?

Rabbi Shimon Bar Lakish is known to have been a bandit before repenting and becoming a Rabbi. Banditry involves thievery and violence. Would the Sanhedrin/Beis Hamidrash have an obligation to flog ...
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What are the implications of "deserving death"?

The Sources frequently say that certain people "deserve death". Examples in the Talmud: He who transgresses the rulings of the Sages deserve death. [Berakhot 4b] He who emits semen in vain ...
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When is ignorance of the law an excuse?

In capital cases (say, murder or adultery), ignorance of the law is a valid defense. A Jewish court requires two witnesses to give evidence that the defendant was taught ahead of time that his action ...
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Does Talmud introduce death penalties not mentioned in the Torah?

Does the Mishna or Gemara introduce any sin as liable for the death penalty, not mentioned in the Torah?
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How should the 23rd judge vote?

Capital cases go to a court of 23 judges. A majority is required to convict, except that if all 23 vote to convict, the defendent goes scot-free. If 22 judges have already voted to convict, and the ...
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1 answer
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Should repentance and Yom Kippur save someone from capital punishment?

In Yoma 86a we find the following Tannaic statement If one commits a transgression that warrants karet or a sin punishable by death from the earthly court and then repents, repentance and Yom ...
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What was the consequence of Yael's sin?

The gemarah (Horiyot 10b, Nazir 23b) states that Yael sinned for the sake of God in sleeping with Sisra. I would like to know what consequence, if any, there was for this sin. Was her husband ...
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How can a rapist in the field be executed, if there were no witnesses?

The pasuk in Devarim 22:25 says But if a man finds the betrothed girl in the field, and the man overpowers her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. Now, the man can ...
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A rebellious elder is executed on the festival? How does that work?

The mishna in Sanhedrin 11:4 says that the rebellious elder is not executed by his local court but is instead taken to Yerushalayim and executed on the next festival in front of all the people. ...
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Is one liable for murdering after being sentenced to death?

If one was sentenced to death by a Sanhedrin. After leaving the court to his death execution he kills a bystander. Is he liable for that murder? If yes, is he re-judged? Or it depends on what kind ...
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3 votes
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Legal status of one sentenced to death until execution?

What's the legal status of one who's sentenced to death by a court (say smoked on Shabbos) from the moment of the verdict till the actual death: What're his economical rights (his property, estate, ...
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Weren't Dor Hamidbar exempt from all Mitzvos as "already sentenced to death"? [duplicate]

IIRC, one who was sentenced to death is considered already dead (גברא קטילא)(San 85a, but exact source needed) (or is it only about losing his property?). When G-d sentenced all 20-60 y.o. Jews to die ...
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Sins incurring death according to Ari Z"L

In the Kriyat Sh'ma al HaMittah of the Ari Z"L there is a section of viduy which confesses sins which call forth particular death penalties. Is there any explanation of what these four sins are (as I ...
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How was the appropriate death penalty decided for each sin?

There are four capital punishments (Skilah, Sreifah, Hereg and Chenek) and there seems to be a hierarchy in terms of severity (heavy to light) but is there any discussion of how the specific crime ...
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Why were Er and Onan punished if they were under 20?

As seen from this question, the Heavenly Court does not punish an individual (at least in this life) if he or she is under 20. However, according to Seder Hadoros (Year 2217) Er and Onan were 7 or 8 ...
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Source for the requirement for an action to be within "toch k'dei dibbur" of a warning for Capital Punishment

In order for a person to be killed by Beis Din via a capital punishment, there needs to be: a) 2 witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15) that saw him transgress a sin that is liable to death. b) a warning (&...
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Is the punishment for loshan hara death or tzaraas?

What is worse loshan hara about a thing or about a person? We see that Miriam said Lashan Hara about a person and got Tzoraas We see the meraglim said Lashan Hara about trees and stones and received ...
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(How) was Joshua allowed to trick Achan?

In Sanhedrin 43b it says that Joshua tells Achan that if he confesses he will be pardoned (והיפטר). Rashi explains that Joshua verbally deceived Achan into confessing, making Achan think he would not ...
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What is one's liability for intentionally exposing someone to a dangerous virus?

Consider Reuven, who takes an airborne virus (however he got it) and sticks it in Shimon's air vent. As Shimon is continuously exposed to this virus, he becomes progressively sicker. What is Reuven's ...
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Does an eye for an eye mean monetary compensation? [duplicate]

That's what I've heard it means. So the judges don't really pluck out the other defendants' eyes due to a plaintiff complaints. However, the judge would require the defendant to compensate for the ...
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1 answer
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How does frequency of a Sanhedrin killing make sense in light of the concept of "Kippah"?

The mishnah on Makkos 7a states: סנהדרין ההורגת אחד בשבוע נקראת חובלנית רבי אליעזר בן עזריה אומר אחד לשבעים שנה רבי טרפון ורבי עקיבא אומרים אילו היינו בסנהדרין לא נהרג אדם מעולם רשב"ג אומר אף הן ...
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(How) did the M'kallel know he was doing something the warranted death?

In Vayikra 24:12 it says they placed the person who cursed God in jail. The gemarah (Sanhedrin 78b) explains that Moshe did not know if this person's actions warranted the death punishment and that ...
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How is the law in a case of multiple edim zomemim justified by Chachomim?

Mishna Makkos 1 (5) describes the case of witness who are zomemim. The mishna according to Chachomim (with whom the halacha goes) says If others [i.e. another pair of witnesses] come and are ...
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Why does a Na'arah Me'orasah convert who has illicit relations not receive Skilah?

Kesuvos 4:3: הַגִּיּוֹרֶת שֶׁנִּתְגַּיְּרָה בִתָּהּ עִמָּהּ, וְזִנְּתָה, הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶנֶק. [...] הָיְתָה הוֹרָתָהּ שֶׁלֹּא בִקְדֻשָּׁה וְלֵדָתָהּ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה, הֲרֵי זוֹ בִסְקִילָה. [...] הָיְתָה ...
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What is the theological basis for changes in the practices of Judaism over the centuries?

There are many events or practices in the Old Testament which might seem brutal to a modern Western person; for example, I remember reading a passage about a man who was stoned to death for collecting ...
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Why is one obligated to the death penalty if he follows Beis Shamai

Why is it, that if one were to follow Beis Shamai's halachic opinions, he'd be obligated to the death penalty, as we see the Gemara in Brachos 11a says that: רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר עשה כדברי בית שמאי ...
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3 votes
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Who must forewarn transgressors?

The Gemara in Makkot 6b says that a transgressor in capital cases is never executed unless his two witnesses were the ones who forewarned him, because the Torah says: "At the mouth [Al pi] of two ...
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How can Kares be greater than execution by beis din (and also eternal according to R' Kapach)?

In this exposition of what kares means, the following view is quoted: [...] R. Yosef Kafach (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Teshuvah ch. 8 n. 4) offers a different interpretation. He suggests that the Rambam’...
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