Ten Innocent Murderers

It is granted in the Talmud that the Bible forbids taking a man's life — but that merely means taking his life all by yourself. In other words, you must not take the whole of his life all alone, which permits you, nevertheless, to help nine other men to take a life.

Thus, it is stated in the Talmud: "If ten men smote a man with ten staves whether simultaneously or successively, and he died, they are exempt." Answering the Rabbi who suggests that killing whatever is left of a man's life might be wrong, we are also told: "If ten men assailed him successively, he was already nearly dead when the last smote him: therefore the last, too, is exempt." (See Exhibit 88)

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