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Chapter 8 - Extraordinary Sources of Jewish Law: the Example of Capital Punishment


Steven H. Resnicoff


DePaul University College of Law

2012

Steven H. Resnicoff, Chapter 8 of Understanding Jewish Law (LexisNexis, 2012)

Abstract:     
Most Jewish law scholarship, especially that which is published in English, focuses on only one of Jewish law’s criminal law enforcement systems, namely, the operation of the rabbinic court system pursuant to the rules set forth in the Pentateuch, as interpreted in the Babylonian Talmud. In fact, this literature usually fails even to acknowledge the existence of the two other law enforcement systems: (1) enforcement by rabbinic courts functioning under their “extraordinary powers”; and (2) and enforcement by a Jewish king. These two systems vary enormously as to the procedural protections they provide and as to their practical consequences. Failing to examine them causes one to very seriously misunderstand how Jewish law functioned throughout history and paints a rather "Pollyanna-like" portrait of Jewish law.

This submission constitutes Chapter 8 of my book, "Understanding Jewish Law," published by LexisNexis in June 2012. It explains the dramatic differences among these three criminal law enforcement systems and documents the pragmatic steps taken by rabbinic authorities responsible for providing a safe and stable social environment.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: Jewish law, Judaiam, capital punishment, death penalty, execution, crime, criminal law, criminal justice, procedural protections, martial law, emergency powers, king, government, law enforcement, confession, Bible, Torah

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Date posted: June 23, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Resnicoff, Steven H., Chapter 8 - Extraordinary Sources of Jewish Law: the Example of Capital Punishment (2012). Steven H. Resnicoff, Chapter 8 of Understanding Jewish Law (LexisNexis, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2089423

Contact Information

Steven H. Resnicoff (Contact Author)
DePaul University College of Law ( email )
25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL Cook County 60604-2287
United States
312-362-8137 (Phone)
312-362-5448 (Fax)

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