In "Word Focus" Darrell Grim writes:
The Sanhedrin was the ruling body of the Jews. It consisted of seventy-one members including scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and elders. The high priest was the presiding officer. Certain regulations were set forth to cover such events as a trial. There was to be a quorum of twenty-three. Criminal cases were all to be tried in the daytime and must be completed during the daytime. A trial could only be finished on the day it was begun if the verdict was “not guilty.” Otherwise, a night had to pass before a guilty verdict could be pronounced. No decision of this body was valid unless they met in their own meeting hall in the Temple precincts. All evidence had to be sworn to by at least two witnesses who were examined separately and had no contact with each other. A false witness was punishable by death. In every trial the evidence for the innocence of the accused was to be put before the court before any evidence of his guilt. In their rush to eliminate Jesus, the Sanhedrin completely disregarded its own rules.
Discussion: What happens to a society when its courts no longer uphold justice?
Source: Jesus, Son of God: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 16.