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Acquainted with the laws of adultery from the various religions of the world

Posted on: 03/19/2011


By : fh4djh4r

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Warm greetings from author to readers my article. At our meeting this time, the author has the initiative to provide some knowledge about the law regarding adultery known some that apply in different religions received in the world that we live this. as preliminary, Sexual relations between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse. Prohibitions against adultery are found in virtually every society; Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions all condemn it, and in some Islamic countries it is still punishable by death. Attitudes toward adultery in different cultures have varied widely. Under the Code of Hammurabi (18th century BC) in Babylonia it was punishable by death by drowning, and in ancient Rome an offending woman could be killed, though men were not severely punished. In western Europe and North America, adultery by either spouse is a ground for divorce, though in the U.S. the shift to no-fault divorce significantly reduced the importance of adultery as an element in divorce proceedings. The spread of Western ideas of equality in marriage has resulted in pressure for equal marital rights for women in traditional African and Southeast Asian societie.

Sexual relations engaged in voluntarily by a married or betrothed woman with someone other than her husband. Since a wife, in biblical times, was considered the possession of her husband, the prohibition against adultery appears in the Ten Commandments grouped with the strictures against injuring one’s neighbor. Episodes in the Pentateuch involving Sarah and Abimelech and Potiphar’s wife and Joseph reflect the concept that adultery is a sin against God. It is also stigmatized as an act of defilement , and King David is later punished for this offense . Several biblical passages explicitly prescribe the death penalty for adulterers, both the man and the woman. The first nine chapters of the Book of Proverbs contain repeated advice to young men, warning them against the seductive wiles of an unfaithful wife. Married men are urged to maintain conjugal fidelity and not to be enticed by another man’s wife, called the “strange woman” . Similar admonitions are found in the Apocrypha Metaphorically, in Scripture, the relationship between God and Israel is frequently portrayed as marriage; the worship of false gods is therefore described as an act of adultery or prostitution.

On the basis of Wisdom Literature and prophetic condemnation, the rabbis expanded both the moral and the legal implications of marital infidelity. Thus, one who gazes at a married woman with lustful eyes is also called an adulterer  likewise the wife who thinks of another man while having intercourse with her own husband. Both the adulterer and the adulteress belong to the category of those for whom eternal punishment is reserved in the hereafter (BM 58b). As a crime endangering human society, adulterous conduct is prohibited by the seven Noachide Laws and is therefore applicable to mankind as a whole; together with idolatry and murder, it constitutes one of the commandments for which a Jew must be prepared to accept martyrdom rather than transgress. The method of the biblically ordained penalty of death for this offense is not specified, but the Talmud interprets it as death by strangulation. In Jewish law, however, the death penalty for this (or any other) crime might only be imposed if the offending parties had been duly forewarned and two witnesses had also given evidence as to their misconduct. A classic exception to this rule was the woman suspected of adultery who uderwent an ordeal known as “the waters of bitterness” to determine her guilt or innocence. Halakhic regulations stipulate that a husband may give his wife a bill of Divorce when he has good reason to suspect, or proof of the fact, that she has committed adultery. Once the case has been established, such a husband must divorce his unfaithful wife (even if he is willing to forgive her) and she cannot then marry her lover. Any offspring of an adulterous union, termed a mamzer, can only marry another mamzer or a proselyte (see Illegitimacy). Though severely condemned, relations between a married man and an unmarried woman do not constitute adultery in Jewish law and the child of such a union suffers from no religious disabilities. For the legal aspects of rape, a different type of felony, see Sexual Offenses. See also Husband-Wife Relationship. Voluntary sexual relations between an individual who is married and someone who is not the individual’s spouse. Adultery is viewed by the law as an offense injurious to public morals and a mistreatment of the marriage relationship. Statutes attempt to inhibit adultery by making such behavior punishable as a crime and by allowing a blameless party to obtain a divorce against an adulterous spouse. Although adultery has ordinarily been regarded as a legal wrong, it has not always been considered a crime. Historically it was punishable solely in courts created by the church to impose good morals. In the ecclesiastical courts, adultery was any act of sexual intercourse by a married person with someone not his or her spouse. The act was considered wrongful regardless of whether or not the other person was married. At common law, adultery was wrongful intercourse between a married woman and any man other than her husband.

Criminal Laws
Several state legislatures have statutorily defined adultery as a crime. The public policy reason for this classification is to further peace and order in society by preservation of the sanctity of family relationships and to proscribe conduct that undermines such relationships.
Under some statutes, both parties to an adulterous relationship are guilty of a crime if either of them is married to someone else. Other statutes provide that the act is criminal only if the woman is married.
Under the law of some states, one act of adultery constitutes a crime, whereas in others, there must be an ongoing and notorious relationship. The punishment set by statute may be greater for an individual who engages in repeated acts of adultery than for one who commits an isolated act.

Defenses
An individual who has been charged with committing adultery may have a valid legal defense, such as the failure or physical incapacity to consummate the sex act.
A woman is not guilty of adultery if the sex act resulted from rape. Some states recognize ignorance of the accused regarding the marital status of his or her lover as a defense. In some states, only the married party can be prosecuted for adultery. If the other party to the relationship is not married, he or she may be prosecuted for fornication instead of adultery.

Initiation of Criminal Proceedings
Under some statutes, a prosecution for adultery can be brought only by the spouse of the accused person although technically the action is initiated in the name of the state. Other states provide that a husband or wife is precluded from commencing prosecution for adultery since those states have laws that prohibit a husband or wife from testifying against his or her spouse. In such states, a complaint can be filed by a husband or wife against the adulterous spouse’s lover.

Evidence
Customary rules prescribe the types of evidence that can be offered to prove guilt or innocence. There must be a showing by the prosecutor that the accused party and another named party had sexual relations. Depending on state statutes, the prosecutor must show that either one or both parties to the adultery were wed to someone else at the time of their relationship.
Evidence of a chance to have sexual relations coupled with a desire, or opportunity and inclination, might be sufficient to prove guilt. Photographs, or the testimony of a witness who observed the couple having sexual intercourse, is not necessary. The fact that a married woman accused of adultery became pregnant during a time when her husband was absent might be admissible to demonstrate that someone, other than her spouse, had access to her for the op- portunity of engaging in illicit sex. In addition, evidence that an accused woman gave birth to an illegitimate child might also be admissible.
Letters in which the accused parties have written about their amorous feelings or clandestine encounters may be introduced in court to support the assertion that the parties had the inclination to engage in sexual relations. Character evidence indicating the good or bad reputation of each party may be brought before the jury. Although evidence of a woman’s sexual relationships with men other than the party to the adultery generally cannot be used, if her reputation as a prostitute can be demonstrated, it may be offered as evidence.
Suspicious activities and incriminating circumstances may be offered as circumstantial evidence.

Enforcement of Statutes
Although adultery is a crime in many states, the prosecution of offenders is rare. The legal system of the United States is currently reevaluating crimes such as adultery in light of the question of whether or not it is expedient to use jail time and fines to punish consenting adults for their sexual activities, even when family stability is threatened.

As a Defense
Occasionally, adultery has been successfully asserted as a defense to the crime of murder by an individual charged with killing his or her spouse’s lover. Courts are loath, however, to excuse the heinous crime of murder on the ground that the accused party was agitated about a spouse’s adulterous activities, unless the spouse acted in heat of passion.

Divorce
Based on the state’s interest in the marital status of its residents, all legislatures had traditionally assigned statutes enumerating the grounds on which a divorce would be granted. These grounds, listed separately in the laws of each jurisdiction, generally included desertion, nonsupport, and adultery.
The basis of adultery as a ground for divorce has been discussed in various cases. There is an overriding public policy in favor of preserving the sanctity of marital relationships and family unity, and a fear that adultery will serve to undermine these societal objectives.
Recent changes in divorce laws, primarily the enactment of no-fault divorce statutes in many states, have made it easier for couples seeking divorce to end their marriages without having to prove adultery or any other ground. In the past many unhappy couples resorted to trickery to attempt to obtain a divorce through staging the discovery of allegedly adulterous conduct.

 

 

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