World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Capital punishment in Israel

Article Id: WHEBN0008951344
Reproduction Date:

Title: Capital punishment in Israel  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Capital punishment in Bhutan, Capital punishment in Egypt, Capital punishment in Saudi Arabia, Capital punishment in South Korea, Capital punishment in Vietnam
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Capital punishment in Israel

In Israel, capital punishment is allowed only during wartime and only for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, treason, and crimes against the Jewish People. The current Arab-Israel conflict is considered a war, and the committing of any of the crimes can result in the death penalty. Israel inherited the British Mandate of Palestine code of law, which included the death penalty for several offenses, but in 1954 Israel abolished the penalty during peacetime with the exception of the said crimes.

Only two people have been executed in the history of the State of Israel - Adolf Eichmann and Meir Tobianski. Eichmann, who was hanged in 1962 after he was convicted in 1961 of participation in Nazi war crimes relating to the Holocaust, was the only person to have been civilly executed in Israel. Tobianski, an Israeli soldier in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, was falsely accused of treason, convicted by a military court, and executed by firing squad. He was later posthumously exonerated. Others, including Nazi criminal John Demjanjuk, have been sentenced to death but won appeals to overturn their sentences.

It is generally accepted that one of the reasons for Israel's rare use of the death penalty is Jewish religious law.[1] Biblical law explicitly mandates the death penalty for 36 offenses, from murder and adultery to idolatry and desecration of the Sabbath. Still, Jewish scholars since the beginning of the common era have developed such restrictive rules to prevent execution of the innocent that the death penalty has become de facto illegal. Conservative Jewish religious leaders and scholars believe that the death penalty should remain unused, even in extreme cases such as political assassination.[2]

Moses Maimonides argued that executing a defendant on anything less than absolute certainty would lead to a slippery slope of decreasing burdens of proof, until we would be convicting merely "according to the judge's caprice." His concern was maintaining popular respect for law, and he saw errors of commission as much more threatening than errors of omission.[3]

Executed people

Executed person Date of execution Crime(s) Under President Method
1 Meir Tobianski June 30, 1948 Treason during the early days of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Tobianski was posthumously acquitted in 1949 and was reinstated to the rank of captain. Provisional Government Firing squad
2 Adolf Eichmann May 31, 1962 Crimes against humanity and war crimes, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization involving the murder of many Jews. Yitzhak Ben-Zvi Hanging

See also


  1. ^ Mishnah Makot 1:10
  2. ^ - Conservative Responsa on the Assassination of Rabin
  3. ^ Moses Maimonides, The Commandments, Neg. Comm. 290, at 269–71 (Charles B. Chavel trans., 1967).

External links

  • Religious Action Center - Death Penalty
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.