Sanhedrin 40 - Examination of Witnesses in Capital Cases

They would examine the witnesses with seven questions related to time and place of the incident: which seven year-period did you see the crime, which year, which month, which day of the month, which day of the week, which hour, and in which place. The primary purpose of these questions is to pinpoint the time and place, and allow the possibility of making them disqualified (false) witnesses . In fact, if there is no possibility for the witnesses to be disqualified, their testimony is not accepted.

Then they they would ask specific questions: "Did you recognize the victim?" and "Did you warn the accused?" In cases of idol worship, they asked "What idol did he worship and how did he worship it?" Whoever increases the number of supplementary questions is praiseworthy. It once happened that Ben Zakkai examined the witnesses concerning the stems of the figs on the fig tree under which the murder allegedly occurred.

Art: Lorenzo Lotto - St. Lucy Before the Judge