- Capital punishment in Israel
Israel, capital punishmentis illegal in almost all circumstances. The death penalty was abolished in 1954 with the exceptions of conviction for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and treasonin wartime cite web | title = Jewish Law | publisher = Ira Kasdan | url = http://www.jlaw.com/Briefs/capital2.html | accessdate = April 24 | accessyear = 2008 ] . Only one person has been civilly executed in the history of the State of Israel - Adolf Eichmannin 1962, after he was convicted in 1961 of participation in Nazi war crimes relating to the Holocaust. Others have been sentenced to death but won appeals to overturn the sentence.
It is generally accepted that one of the reasons for Israel's rare use of the death penalty is Jewish religious law. However, there is some debate as to whether Jewish law forbids capital punishment. Biblical law explicitly mandates the death penalty for 36 offenses, from
murderand rapeto idolatryand desecration of the Sabbath. Still, Jewish scholars since the beginning of the common erahave developed such restrictive rules to prevent execution of the innocent that the death penalty has become de factoillegal. Most modern Jewish religious leaders and scholars believe that the death penalty should remain unused.
Human rights in Israel Religion and capital punishment
* [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=128&letter=C JewishEncyclopedia.com - CAPITAL PUNISHMENT]
* [http://rac.org/advocacy/issues/issuedp/ Religious Action Center - Death Penalty]
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