In John 8:5, the Pharisees ask Jesus:
In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? (NIV)
Was stoning a woman for adultery often/sometimes done during Jesus' days, or was this more of a rhetorical question? I thought that Jews were not allowed to execute someone (as we see when Jesus is sent to Pilate), yet Acts 7 shows that Stephen was stoned to death (though this seems more like a mob action).
To extend my question a bit, I'd like to understand:
- Was stoning to death legal in Jesus' days under Jewish and Roman law?
- How frequent were death sentences?
- Which crimes could lead to capital punishment?