Questions tagged [capital-punishment]

Questions pertaining to capital-punishment according to Jewish law.

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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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Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
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Theoretically, in a perfect environment, what would happen if a king would commit a capital crime?

The Mishna (according to the Gemara) says that kings of the house of Yehuda (basically, the good kings) and all kings before King Yannai would be judged, and the Radvaz writes that (in theory), a king ...
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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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How can we reconcile Devarim 24:16 with BaMidbar 16:27?

It is written at BaMidbar 16:27 וַיֵּעָלוּ, מֵעַל מִשְׁכַּן-קֹרַח דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם--מִסָּבִיב; וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם יָצְאוּ נִצָּבִים, פֶּתַח אָהֳלֵיהֶם, וּנְשֵׁיהֶם וּבְנֵיהֶם, וְטַפָּם (here it ...
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How was the Mekalel given the death penalty if the punishment wasn’t known?

Inspired by How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet? The OP there asks how the Mekoshesh, the one who chopped wood on Shabbos could be put to death if he ...
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Capital punishment in Persia

This is not a Purim joke. Translations of the Book of Esther say the king sentenced people to be "hanged". But modern translations (including Sefaria) say they were "impaled". They translate "ha-...
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Censuring a variant reading

In Leviticus 24:20 we read the phrase "an eye for an eye." The talmud teaches (in Bava Kamma and Ketubot) that this refers to monetary value. Is there any source which criticizes a literal reading? ...
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History of Capital Punishment

When is the most recent documented occurrence in Jewish history of a beit din carrying out the death penalty? Or if historical documentation is lacking, when is the most recent time in Jewish history ...
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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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Is it a mitzvah to save someone from execution by Beth Din?

I am wondering how the laws of pikuach nefesh might apply to a situation of mitath beth din. Would bystanders be obliged to save the condemned from his lawful execution? What about members of the beth ...
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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 78b 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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does false prophet always incur death penalty

The Torah tells us (Deut.20) that if someone utters a prophecy in the name of God and even a minute detail of that prophecy does not occur, then the prophet is false and incurs the death penalty. ...
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1k views

Stoning of homosexuals

Is the stoning of homosexuals in the Torah to be taken at face value or is there a deeper meaning beyond the scripture itself? When Moshiach comes, will the courts actually mete out such a punishment ...
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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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315 views

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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Are observant Jews of today more pious than observant Jews of the Sanhedrin period?

Allow me to explain the logic of the question: During the time of the Sanhedrin, a Jew could be put to death for not following the law. While it was certainly enforced for things like murder, it ...
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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 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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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 was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet?

How was the Mekoshesh, the man found gathering wood on Shabbat in Sh'lach L'cha, given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet, so he couldn't have been warned, being that the warning ...
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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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How to understand Hilchot Mamrim 3?

In Hilchot Mamrim 3a, it states: מי שאינו מאמין בתורה שבעל פה, אינו זקן ממרא האמור בתורה, אלא הרי הוא בכלל המינים, ומיתתו ביד כל אדם. [ב] מאחר שנתפרסם שהוא כופר בתורה שבעל פה--מורידין ולא מעלין, ...
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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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570 views

How were men allowed to watch an execution?

It says in Maseches Sota (8a) that that if a woman would be punished by stoning, she would be stoned virtually unclothed, and men would be allowed to attend. The Gemara says that there is no concern ...
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No obligation of counting birthdays and knowing one's age?

Age is a very important part of Jewish Halakha, with many dates being critical for one's responsibility, including Misos Beis Din (capital punishment). E.g. 3 year old girl can be betrothed and a male ...
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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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92 views

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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Pinchas-style act nowadays

Is there any situation whereby a Pinchas-style execution would be justified nowadays? I am particularly interested in whether a 'zealous act' against a public sexually problematic sin is possible in ...
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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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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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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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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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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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(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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If a kohen participates in a stoning is he still allowed to bless the people?

The shulchan aruch codifies that a Kohen who kills someone may not bless the people. If, in the times when the Sanhedrin administered capital punishment, a Kohen saw a situation that warranted the ...
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When do other punishments other than death penalty, exempt one from a fine?

I'm not well-versed in the laws of various punishments and how they interact in the g'mara. I've seen places -- most recently Ketubot 45, today's daf -- where it says that somebody is punished with ...
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Arba Misos Beis Din- 1 Mitzvah or 4?

Tosfos on Makos 2a (Kol Hazomemin) brings a Tosefta which says that if you can't give someone their destined Arba Misos (meaning the one their Aveira warranted), you can give them a different one, ...
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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 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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How could they stone with esrogim without a court case?

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 ...
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50 views

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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148 views

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 ...