The Illegal Trial Of Jesus Christ
No Lawful Conviction On Confession Alone
Ms Suzy, Jurist in this court room:
It has now been definitely established that the final charge against Jesus, before the Sanhedrin, and upon which He was sentenced to be crucified by the Jews, was that of "blasphemy."
We recall that, as soon as Jesus had made the truthful admission, in response to the direct inquiry of the high priest, that He was the Son of God, the proceedings in the Sanhedrin were abruptly halted by Caiaphas who, with his cohorts, adjudged the Christ guilty of the charge of blasphemy, because of His admission, and that He was then condemned to death.
Therefore, it must now be admitted that Jesus was convicted and condemned, before the Jewish court, solely upon His own confession to being the Son of God. Witnesses were not used upon either side. The Jews felt that they needed none, and they denied Jesus His right to obtain them for Him.
The records of court proceedings, in all the world, from the days of Adam to the resent time, reveal that there can be found no parallel and no precedent for condemning one upon his own confession, without supporting witnesses. Civilization just would not tolerate such a practice. And, where it has happened before, it was outside of courts, and, in limited and isolated instances, only where mob~rule prevailed!
So, then, the only exception can be found in the "trial" of Jesus before the Jewish highest court in Judea, in the year A.D.30! And the pages of that record are so dark, and so disreputable, that, for the next almost two thousand years, none have dared to exemplify such tactics, or use them as justification for taking human life!
What then, in defense of the Jews as a group? Did the Jewish society, in those days, when Jesus was "tried" approve of such tactics? They most assuredly did not! Let us turn to the solemn pronouncement of the Hebrew laws on that subject:
" We have it as a fundamental principle of our jurisprudence that no one can bring an accusation against himself. Moreover, a voluntary confession on his part is not admitted in evidence, and therefore not competent to convict, unless a legal number of witnesses minutely corroborate his self~accusation."
Note how simple and unambiguous is this statement of Jewish law. In plain language-easily understood-admitting of no confusion, even to the simple minded-that no one can bring an accusation against himself; that one who volunteers a confession, the same cannot be considered in court as evidence, unless a legal number of witnesses minutely corroborate his self~accusation!
Did they not convict and condemn Jesus upon His voluntary confession that He was the Son of God? And, did they require that the legal number of witnesses, in detail, support that confession? The answers to the inquiries are self evident.
Let it be said, to the full credit of the early Jewish lawmakers of Israel, that they did prepare and gain the approval of many ancient and sound legal principles, and rules of orderly court procedures, which, if properly and fairly administered and enforced, would have been sufficient, substantial safeguards for the protection of those charged with crime. Indeed, the protective laws were ample; but the trouble came by the haphazard and, too frequently, spiteful manner in which they were trampled upon and deliberately ignored-by the very crowd of judges who had sworn to uphold and enforce them!
Had the Christ been given the full benefit of existing Hebrew laws, as well as impartiality and fairness in the application and enforcement of them. He would never have been subjected to the series of cruelties, humiliations, and acts of brutality which were so wrongfully imposed by corrupt and unprincipled administrators. And, to be sure, it was not a matter of being ignorant of that, as well as all other laws, of the Jewish society, because we know that each member of the Sanhedrin was required to be well versed in the laws of Israel, before being permitted to accept appointments therein.
Spite, ill-will and hatred moved their hearts and minds against the Christ. Nothing else mattered with them.
Too frequently men have been known to make what appeared to be an open, free and voluntary confession of a crime which they had not committed, in order to "cover~up" for some friend or relative.
Then, again, there are instances where it later developed, from thorough investigation, that the crime, for which the accused "confessed" had never been committed at all, by anyone! And this is always a tragic spectacle.
It is noteworthy that, the principle of the Hebrew law which prohibited the confession of the accused without corroborative testimony of others, is still the law of every civilized Nation in the world. This, to say the least, bespeaks the wisdom of those early framers of the Jewish statutes, several hundred years prior to the birth of Jesus.
Having condemned Jesus to die, solely upon what may be called His "confession," or rather, to use a better word, His "admission," that He was the Christ, without the required production of the legal number of witnesses, placed the high priest, and the entire membership of the Sanhedrin, into the category of law-violators themselves; because they, undoubtedly, breached the solemn laws on that subject.
Soon we will have a discussion respecting the legal number of witnesses which had to be produced by the prosecution before a conviction could be valid.