Torah and Murder: The Cities of Refuge and Anglo-American Law

39 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2015

See all articles by Craig A. Stern

Craig A. Stern

Regent University School of Law

Date Written: August 11, 2001


This article suggests important connections between the biblical and Anglo-American laws of murder. The first part describes the biblical law. The second part describes the development of the Anglo-American law with an eye towards how it reflects the biblical law. Three aspects of the law of murder figure prominently in this account: the mens rea sufficient to establish murder, the presumption of mens rea from actus reus, and the incidence of capital punishment. The Bible speaks to all three aspects, and repeatedly Anglo-American jurists have heard its voice.

Keywords: homicide, legal history, biblical law, law and religion

Suggested Citation

Stern, Craig A., Torah and Murder: The Cities of Refuge and Anglo-American Law (August 11, 2001). Valparaiso University Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2001, Available at SSRN:

Craig A. Stern (Contact Author)

Regent University School of Law ( email )

1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
United States

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