Page:Laws of Hammurabi, King of Babylonia.djvu/12

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RECORDS OF THE PAST

might be adjudged proper to inflict upon a person guilty of the offence for which such trial was being conducted.

5. Any judge conducting a trial and rendering a written decision therein shall receive 12 fold the punishment administered by reason of his decision, if the decision is subsequently proved to be erroneous.

6. Any person convicted of the offence of selling property stolen either from the city or the temple shall be put to death and the person who receives the stolen goods from such offender shall likewise be put to death.

7. Any person purchasing silver, gold or a slave, either male or female, a beef or an ass or any other personal property from another person or from the slave of another person, without witnesses to the transaction or agreement, shall be adjudged to be a thief and shall be put to death.

8. Any person who without right sells a beef, a sheep, an ass or swine or other personal property, if it be the property of the temple or of the city, shall make restitution thereof 30 fold, if it be the property of a freedman, 10 fold; in event such person has nothing with which to make restitution in accordance with the foregoing provision, he shall be deemed to be a thief and shall suffer the death penalty.

9. If anyone has lost an article of personal property and discovers it in the possession of some other person and that person excuses his possession by the statement that still another person sold it to him in the presence of witnesses and that he has paid therefor, and thereupon the owner of the article declares that he is able to bring witnesses to identify his property; it then becomes incumbent upon the possessor to produce the one whom he alleged sold him the article and likewise a witness to the transaction of purchase. The owner shall likewise produce witnesses to substantiate his ownership and all the witnesses shall proceed before a judge and all the witnesses being duly put upon their oaths, shall testify to the facts before the judge. In event the owner proves his property the seller of the article shall be deemed to be a thief and shall suffer the death penalty. The purchaser shall make restitution of the property to the owner and shall receive back from the seller the purchase price.

10. In event of a failure on the part of the purchaser, vendor and the witnesses before whom he alleges he consummated the transaction to appear in the case, and the owner does produce witnesses to establish his ownership in said property, the purchaser, in failing to produce his witnesses to the transaction and the vendor as aforesaid, shall be adjudged to be a thief and shall suffer the death penalty. The property shall be restored to the owner.

11. In event of a failure, however, on the part of the claimant of the lost property to produce at the hearing competent witnesses to establish his ownership, he shall be deemed guilty of having slandered the purchaser and shall suffer the death penalty.

12. In event the vendor of property which he has sold without right, shall die prior to a hearing upon the claim of the owner of the property, then the vendee shall receive from the estate of the vendor 5 fold the purchase price of the article disposed of to him by the decedent.

13. In event of inability to produce witnesses in such a case at the first hearing thereon, the judge shall continue the trial of the cause for a period not to exceed 6 months. In event of failure of either party to produce witnesses for their respective claims within that period, the one failing so to do shall be deemed guilty and shall receive such punishment as is herein-before provided for in such cases.