Mishnah/Seder Nezikin/Tractate Sanhedrin/Chapter 5
You must check (testimony) with seven inquiries: what week, what year, what month, when in the month, what day, what time, and in what place. Rabbi Yosi says: in what day, what hour, and in what place, did you recognize him, did you warn him? For the idolator - what did he worship, how did he worship it?
The more (the judge) checks (the witnesses), behold, this is more praiseworthy. Once, Ben Zakkai checked even the stalks of figs. What's the difference between investigating and checking? In investigation, one says "I don't know", his testimony is invalid. In checking, one says "I don't know" even if two say "We don't know," their testimony still stands. But one during investigation and one during checking, in this time, they contradict each other, their testimonies are invalid.
One says on the second of the month, and the other says on the third of the month, their testimony stands, since one might have known of the intercalation of the month and one didn't know of the intercalation of the month. One says on the third and one says on the fifth, their testimony is canceled. One says at the second hour and one says at the third hour, their testimony stands. One says at the third hour, and one says at the fifth hour, their testimony is canceled. Rabbi Yehuda says, it stands. One says at the fifth hour and one says at the seventh hour, their testimony is canceled, because at the fifth, the sun is in the east, and at the seventh, the sun is in the west.
And after this, they bring in the second (witness) and check him. If it is found that his words agree, they open with (arguments for) acquittal. If one from among the witnesses says "I have something to say on acquittal" or one from among the students says "I have something to say on conviction," they silence them. If one from among the students says "I have something to say on acquittal," they raise him up and sit him among them and do not bring him down from there the whole day. If his words have substance, they listen to him. And even if he [the accused] says "I have something to say on acquittal," listen to him, but only if his words have substance.
If he is found innocent, they let him go. If not, they hold the judgment to tomorrow. They go together, pair by pair, eat a little, drink no wine all day, and they discuss the matter all night, and on the morrow, early, they come to the court. The acquitter says "I acquit and I find him innocent in my place," and the convicter says, "I convict and I find him guilty in my place." He who convicts can acquit, but he who acquits cannot change to convict. If they err, the two scribes remind them. If (the verdict) comes to acquit, let him go. If not, stand and vote. If twelve acquit and eleven convict, acquit. If twelve convict and eleven acquit or even if eleven acquit and eleven convict and one says "I don't know," or even if 22 acquit or convict and one says "I don't know", add judges. Add how many? two by two until there are 71. If 36 acquit and 35 convict, acquit. If 36 convict and 35 acquit, the judges argue one against another until one from among the convicters acquits.