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Posted: 5/25/2003 12:07:55 PM EDT
Death Sentence Overturned Because Jury Used Bible Sun May 25, 8:56 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo! DENVER (Reuters) - A judge overturned a convicted murderer's death sentence because jurors consulted Biblical passages such as an "eye for an eye" during death-penalty deliberations. Robert Harlan was convicted and sentenced to death in 1995 for the murder of Rhonda Maloney, a waitress who was driving home from work when Harlan forced her car off the road. Harlan also shot and paralyzed good Samaritan Jaquie Creazzo who tried to come to the woman's aid. While noting that Harlan's crimes "were among the most grievous, heinous and reprehensible" he had seen in 18 years on the bench, Adams County District Judge John J. Vigil said Friday that court officials failed to properly sequester the jury. Jury members stayed in a hotel during deliberations and court officials made sure newspapers were not delivered to their rooms, but the jurors did find bibles in the rooms. "The jury supervision performed in this case was extremely negligent and appallingly lax," Vigil wrote in his ruling. "Jury resort to biblical code has no place in a constitutional death penalty proceeding." Vigil has not yet set a date for Harlan's resentencing. "We respectively disagree and will appeal," Adams County assistant district attorney Steve Bernard said. He also said the record was not clear about whether a bible was brought into the jury room. In a five-day hearing last month, Harlan's attorneys argued that several jurors consulted biblical scripture during jury deliberations, particularly two Old Testament passages from Leviticus that read, "fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him." And, "whoever kills an animal shall restore it, but whoever kills a man shall be put to death." Prosecutors had argued that the sequestration order applied to news media coverage and that jurors should be allowed to draw upon their personal moral code including the Bible while rendering a verdict. [url]http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=583&ncid=583&e=1&u=/nm/20030525/od_nm/crime_bible_dc[/url] ------------------------------------------------ I've got to agree with this...Religous theory has no place in a court room where life or death is the penalty. But the guy probably deserves to die anyway.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 12:59:14 PM EDT
Does this mean that Christians are disqualified from jury duty? Hessian-1 out!
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 1:22:15 PM EDT
Awesome. Keep 'em separate.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 1:50:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2003 1:51:37 PM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 1:52:54 PM EDT
So, following this logic, since I, as a Christian, have memorized some scripture and use it's teachings as a moral guide, am I disqualified to serve on a jury? Who is qualified? Only Atheists? Only those that promise not to think of any scripture? This leads to madness. Where is our country going? The founding fathers would hang their heads and cry if they could see the mess we've made of their dream.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 2:10:32 PM EDT
Several issues involved here. The death penalty, separation of Church and State, and the attempt to remove religion from our lives. I think Old_Painless addresses the most dangerous issue:
Originally Posted By Old_Painless: So, following this logic, since I, as a Christian, have memorized some scripture and use it's teachings as a moral guide, am I disqualified to serve on a jury?
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Yes.
Who is qualified? ...Only those that promise not to think of any scripture?
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Yes, that is the goal.
This leads to madness.
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Right again.
Where is our country going?
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Hell in a handbasket, I would say.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 2:20:02 PM EDT
So what about Muslim jurors who believe your hand and foot should be cut off or shoplifting?
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 2:23:49 PM EDT
ARgue said: Several issues involved here. The death penalty, separation of Church and State, and the attempt to remove religion from our lives.
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I believe ARgue and I are on the same page here, but consider this... This is [u]not[/u] a "seperation of Church and State" issue. Not at all. This supposed separation is really about this issue and this issue only: The State cannot require the citizens to worship in a certain way. That's it! Nothing else. It was never intended that Christians would not be allowed to participate in any part of government, regardless of their beliefs. Any juror brings all of his life's experiences into the courtroom with him. This has always been the way our system has worked. The lawyers present the evidence, the jurors look at it and try to decide which evidence they believe is true, and make a decision. To try to make this a "separation" issue is crazy.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 2:26:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen: So what about Muslim jurors who believe your hand and foot should be cut off or shoplifting?
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I see no reason they couldn't serve as jurors. They will not be [u]allowed[/u] to issue a verdict of "cut off his hand". This punishment is not allowed in our system. But the death penalty is. And this bad guy deserved it.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 3:42:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 3:50:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2003 3:51:48 PM EDT by DScott]
Originally Posted By Hessian-1: Does this mean that Christians are disqualified from jury duty? Hessian-1 out!
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Hardly. I think it just means that jurors are given certain instructions to follow in deliberating on a verdict. They are not allowed to have or to consult other materials in that process, and it's the court's responsibility to maintain certain secure conditions during deliberation. They didn't do that, and it was the opinion of the the appeals court that this process wasn't followed as it should have been. That means they gotta do it over again. People are quite able to bring whatever knowledge and opinion they want to to the deliberation, just not any reference materials. It would have been just as bad if they had had a copy of "Jury Deliberation for Dummies" in the rooms... It's about process, not content.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 3:56:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Old_Painless: Where is our country going?
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[img]http://www.classiccamera.org/fed%20history/ussr%20flag.gif[/img] [b]Why do you think they tore down the Berlin Wall??? ANSWER: Because they won the Cold War. [/b]
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 4:15:53 PM EDT
Several issues involved here. The death penalty, separation of Church and State, and the attempt to remove religion from our lives. I think Old_Painless addresses the most dangerous issue: Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free practice thereof. That does not mean that religion is not a large part of our law. Murder is illegal because it is immoral. Thou shalt not kill!! murder, Thou shalt not tell a lie!! Perjury, Thou shalt not steal!! robbery/burglary, Thou shalt not commit adultery!! Polygamy/adultry laws....do we see a pattern here? There is no seperation of religion and law, but as previously stated, the problem was that outside reference material was available to the jurors. They are to take only the notes that they have taken during the trial and their personal experience and the courts instructions into the jury room. Do I agree with the situation? not entirely. I do not believe that religion should be left out entirely. However, I believe basing their verdict on a few passages of the bible should not be allowed. Law should be tempered with morality. Every day that we are on here, someone comments about our rights being violated. What rights? As the Declaration of Independence states "we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights". God given rights. And with those rights come responsibility. This jury failed in their responsibility and the public is paying the price for it.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 5:11:00 PM EDT
Was Harlan responsible for Maloneys death? Was the death penality warranted? Did he get a fair trial and was the jury privy to to all the evidence they needed to make an informed judgement? TJ & Old_Painless hit the nail on the head. Maybe the "judge" who overruled "a jury of his peers" would like to rehabilitate Harlan by hiring him to watch his children or grand-children. After all it's not really his money, just taxpayer dollars. And Maloney was just a waitress, and Harlan just made a mistake. He probably had a deprived childhood or something like that. He shouldn't have to pay with his life! Maloney was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Seems the death penality opponents use every thing they can to advance their agenda including breaking the law. Then there's the liberal so called judges who "legislate from the bench!" I'm sorry for the rant but how much time, effort, and tax dollars are we going to waste! It's not like Harlan's found the cure for cancer or something like that! Hessian-1 rant off!
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 4:41:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Old_Painless: So, following this logic, since I, as a Christian, have memorized some scripture and use it's teachings as a moral guide, am I disqualified to serve on a jury? Who is qualified? Only Atheists? Only those that promise not to think of any scripture? This leads to madness. Where is our country going? The founding fathers would hang their heads and cry if they could see the mess we've made of their dream.
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Where is it all going? Interesting how well the "end times" signs are rolling in. Revelation speaks of the attack on God's word and work. And, here it is.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 4:45:20 AM EDT
I wonder if this means that Christians who quote the Bible to recommend leniency will be similarly unqualified for jury duty? Catholics who oppose the death penalty? Slippery slope time here it seems to me.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 7:38:17 AM EDT
Crimes of this nature if witnessed by two or more people should allow for the perp to be immediately taken to the city dump and shot dead with no bible or goddamn holy bullshit slinging preacher present. Fuck their rights, the rights argument is only for the benefit of goddamn lawyers who feed off taxpayers. These types of crimes are so repugnant and vile they deserve immediate retribution. I for one am getting tired of spending millions of tax dollars each year housing and defending repeat felons. The 2X felon should automatically get dump justice, of course making sure no bible is present at the cleansing, don't want to give some goddamn lawyer an excuse to spend thousands of more taxpayer dollars defending some monster. In the name of the Queens (Bar)rister System we are all fucked by today.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 9:05:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Am-O-Tramp: Crimes of this nature if witnessed by two or more people should allow for the perp to be immediately taken to the city dump and shot dead with no bible or goddamn holy bullshit slinging preacher present. Fuck their rights, the rights argument is only for the benefit of goddamn lawyers who feed off taxpayers. These types of crimes are so repugnant and vile they deserve immediate retribution. I for one am getting tired of spending millions of tax dollars each year housing and defending repeat felons. The 2X felon should automatically get dump justice, of course making sure no bible is present at the cleansing, don't want to give some goddamn lawyer an excuse to spend thousands of more taxpayer dollars defending some monster. In the name of the Queens (Bar)rister System we are all fucked by today.
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What does this mean, then? "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must like men undergo the fatigues of supporting it. ~ Thomas Paine September 12,1717"
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 10:11:15 AM EDT
[size=5][red][b]Maranatha![/b][/red][/size=5] 'Lord come quickly.' Eric The('WhatWall?')Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 11:49:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/27/2003 11:50:29 AM EDT by steenkybastage]
Hmm, unless these jurors were Jewish, this should actually re-enforce the decision for the death penalty. Christians (those who would read a Bible), would be more inclined to follow the New Testament. Not the Old Testament, which according to Christianity, Jesus relieved us from, and set up a new covenant.
Matt 5:38-45 [red]38"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[/red]
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If they opted for the death penalty, [b]IN SPITE of what Jesus says about NOT using the "eye for an eye" as your answer to evil,[/b] then this should be even MORE of a confirmation that's what needs to be done. The guy should consider himself LUCKY he had Christian people for jurors, and yet he STILL was sentenced to death. This judge needs help. Our country needs help.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 12:04:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By steenkybastage: If they opted for the death penalty, [b]IN SPITE of what Jesus says about NOT using the "eye for an eye" as your answer to evil,[/b] then this should be even MORE of a confirmation that's what needs to be done.
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Jesus never said "Forget the death penalty." Also, the New Testament says that the gov't bears the sword for good reason. Any Christian who advocates against the death penalty doesn't know their religion... Scott ("If you cut the Scriptures at any point (old or new test.) they bleed Christ!" -Martin Luther.)
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 12:14:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Not_A_Llama: Awesome. Keep 'em separate.
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I guess this means that if you're ever called to testify in court, you'll take the oath on the current issue of [i]The New York Times[/i], eh?
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 12:36:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Scottman:
Originally Posted By steenkybastage: If they opted for the death penalty, [b]IN SPITE of what Jesus says about NOT using the "eye for an eye" as your answer to evil,[/b] then this should be even MORE of a confirmation that's what needs to be done.
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Jesus never said "Forget the death penalty." Also, the New Testament says that the gov't bears the sword for good reason. Any Christian who advocates against the death penalty doesn't know their religion... Scott ("If you cut the Scriptures at any point (old or new test.) they bleed Christ!" -Martin Luther.)
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I didn't say that. I said that any Christian would take Jesus's word in the above quoted passage to say we're NOT supposed to follow the eye for an eye rule. If these jurors were in fact Christians, then this further enforces the death penalty for the convict. It does NOT give them any MORE of a reason to kill him. I am not saying that this guy shouldn't be put to death. I am not saying he should be either, I wasn't there for the trial and heard all the evidence. The jurors were, it was their choice. All I'm saying is that if they were true Christians who are being accused of using Leviticus as their basis for killing this guy (and I can't see an Athiest or Muslim bringing up the Bible), they would also know that Jesus himself spoke out [b]against[/b] that analogy. Thus I think the tossing out of the death sentance is wrong. I pulled a quick search for government and sword in the NT, and didn't find anything. Not that I'm arguing it's in there. And no, I'm not against the death penalty. Altho I'd like to see the requirement for the death penalty to be a bit harder to achieve. Say... overwhelming evidence/eyewitnesses, or DNA proof, etc. I don't think a bunch of circumstantial evidence that lead to a conviction should be considered the same. (Not saying this necessarily happens... But I have seen reports of DNA clearing plenty of convicted people after their trial ended in conviction.)
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 1:12:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Originally Posted By Old_Painless: Where is our country going?
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[b]Why do you think they tore down the Berlin Wall??? ANSWER: Because they won the Cold War. [/b]
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Hey wait, wouldn't the USSR have shot him in the head for doing that?
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