Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Trial of Christ

A Lawyer's Prayers

“Sanhedrin in Session” (1883 encyclopedia illustration), Author Wrongkind707 (PD-Art, PD-Old)

In First Century Jerusalem, the Great Sanhedrin was a court both of civil and criminal jurisdiction, comprised of 71 judges.

During the trial of Christ, there were multiple instances of procedural error and prosecutorial misconduct.  Here are some:

Illegal Arrest

  • The use of an accomplice to effectuate an arrest was forbidden.  Since Judas had aided Christ in His ministry, he would have been considered such an accomplice [1A].

Improper Timing

  • Christ was tried for a capital offense during Passover, though this was forbidden [1B].


  • The Sanhedrin was lawfully in session only between the morning sacrifice at 9AM and the evening sacrifice at 3PM.  Christ was arrested and tried there during the night [1C].
  • Contrary to Jewish law, Christ was examined by a single judge at each of two private preliminary hearings – first by Annas, Pres. of the Sanhedrin…

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