I wonder whether Jesus was given enough opportunities to defend himself, whether his trial was fair and whether the investigation was thorough. I want to know how it compares with typical criminal, political or treason trials of the time, both in Roman empire and worldwide, and also in comparison with the modern times.
No, no and no. But it doesn't matter.
He was guilty of what he was charged of. Blasphemy. Claiming to be God.
The thing he was guilty of did carry a death penalty under Jewish law.
The Jews couldn't actually administer the death penalty, they had to get something to take to the Romans to get clearance.
The Roman governor (Pontus Pilate) operated the trial as a political maneuver to stop a Jewish uprising (of the people that wanted to kill Jesus more so than of Jesus himself). He kept the peace by doing what the mob and religious leaders wanted. No claim was ever made of it being a fair trial.
Nobody stopped to consider the fact that his claim was actually true. The final proof of that was in the pudding, and that wouldn't be served up for three more days.
Nobody has ever claimed the trial was fair or investigation thorough. But nobody cared then and I'm not sure why anybody would care now.
Caleb just posted and I am saying the same thing, but so my typing does not go to waste:
When you read the gospels carefully the trail of Christ was principally held in secret by the High Priest and the Sanhedrin where false witnesses were brought in to trap Christ. They sort of bungled at their attempts but eventually his own confession that he was the Christ easily gave them what they needed to hastily condemn him as a blasphemer. So to start of with the trial was rigged to simply achieve the murmurous desire of the religious leaders. However at the time of Christ the Sanhedran could not condemn to death, as the Jews were a vassal state under Rome. Under that government the Jews had to refer all capital crimes for a Roman decision.
As Rome did not care about their religious quarrels, the Jews had to further misrepresent the case to get their attention. Therefore they insinuated that Jesus was a political rebel not willing to submit to Caesar. Apparently he claimed to be 'King of the Jews', which meant he was like the Zealots who must be suppressed. The Jews also put it this way so that if Jesus was set free it might appear that the Governor Pilate did not himself respect Caesar. Basically the Jews gave Pilate no political choice.
On the other hand, like a sheep before the shearer Jesus chose not to defend himself as it was his purpose to die as an atoning sacrifice for sin.
Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. (Matthew 27:11-12, NIV)
Now of course this trial would not stand in today's legal system, at least among first world countries, however, judicially killing an innocent person back then was not entirely rare when we consider the many Christian martyr's just a few years later. Then again, to kill the only sinless man that ever walked this earth, while he being so meek, mild and perfect under every accusation can't really be compared to the injustice anywhere else ever committed in the history of the world. So in this sense there is no injustice quite like it, nor will their ever be.