Was the Examination of Jesus Illegal?

Was the Examination of Jesus Illegal?

SOURCE: THE TRIAL OF JESUS FROM A LAWYER’S STANDPOINT by WALTER M. CHANDLER OF THE NEW YORK BAR LAW “Now the Jewish law prohibited all proceedings by night.”—Dupin, “Jesus Devant Caïphe et Pilate.” “Be not a sole judge, for there is no sole judge but One.”—Mishna, Pirke Aboth IV. 8. “A principle perpetually reproduced in the Hebrew scriptures relates to the two conditions of publicity and liberty. An accused man was never subjected to private or secret examination, lest, in his perplexity, he furnish damaging testimony against himself.”—Salvador, “Institutions de Moïse,” pp. 365, 366. FACT AND ARGUMENT The private examination before Annas (or Caiaphas) was illegal for the following reasons: (1) The examination was conducted at night in violation of Hebrew law; (2) no judge or magistrate, sitting alone, could interrogate an accused judicially or sit in judgment upon his legal rights; (3) private preliminary examinations of accused persons were not allowed by Hebrew law. The general order of events following the arrest in the garden was this: (1) Jesus was first taken to the house of Annas; (2) after a brief delay He was sent by Annas to Caiaphas, the high priest, in whose palace the Sanhedrin, or a part thereof, had already assembled; (3) He was then brought before this body, tried and condemned; (4) He remained, during the rest of the night, in the high priest’s palace, exposed to the insults and outrages of His keepers; and was finally and formally sentenced to death by the Sanhedrin which reconvened at the break of day. That Jesus was privately examined before His regular trial by the Sanhedrin...