Sentencing Defendant to Death


I might be on the jury in the penalty phase of a capital murder case. I could be one of the people tasked with making the decision whether the defendant who has already been convicted of first degree murder will get life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Does Halacha permit me to vote in favor of the death penalty?



  1. In such a situation, the best thing to do is to say no when you are asked during the selection process if you, personally, are able to give a verdict that might cause the prisoner to be put to death. When the lawyers hear your answer, they will remove you from the list of potential jurors. If a person has already been chosen to be a part of the jury and they want to know what they should do, the answer is that they should find the accused guilty or not guilty, according to the evidence presented during the trial. How the judge uses the jury’s final conclusion is up to the judge, as is the actual sentence.

    Best wishes from the Team