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Colorado Supreme Court Throws Out Death Penalty From Bible-Reading Jurors

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Pah, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Colorado Supreme Court Throws Out Death Penalty From Bible-Reading Jurors

    By Steven K. Paulson Associated Press Writer
    Published: Mar 28, 2005

    Complete article

    It would seem a matter of conscience would be permitted where biblical authority is not. Those with religious faith may have succeded with silence.
     
  2. Prima

    Prima Well-Known Member

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    When will people finally comprehend 'separation of church and state'?! THIS IS NOT A THEOCRACY, PEOPLE! Your religious text and my laws are not the same thing! </rant>
     
  3. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    But don't you think it would be okay for a person of good conscience (however that is defined) to have a conscience molded by faith? It's when the faith is blatantly pushed, it becomes wrong.
     
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  4. Studies

    Studies Member

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    I think that any chrsitian who reads the bible for any length of time will have certain problems seperating the judgement you are ask to give. Jesus told us not to judge others so thats in our minds. Then God says vengence is mine, so its hard to make a judgement call on a person. That being said there is a line you can not cross if your on a jury. As( pah ) has stated its when faith is blantly pushed is when it becomes wrong. That is the line you can not cross.
     
  5. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    Why couldn't they have read the verses that say that he without sin can throw the first stone? :areyoucra
     
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  6. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Since the words 'serperation of church and state' do not appear in the Constitution and the whole concept is a misinterpretation of the intent of the framers. Our country and our laws certainly have been influenced by our faith, but that hardly makes America a theocracy.

    It's a shame that the life of this murderous punk was spared....truly a miscarriage of justice.:tsk:
     
  7. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    Wow that is interesting Pah. The legal system is pretty complex and calculated. Really the secular court system we have in place is pretty good at covering this angle. In the void dire when the lawyers quiz the jurors I am sure that both teams knew what he jurors general feeling on religion and capital punishment were. I have a sneaking suspicion that a slick defense lawyer knew with some "God fearin fok" in the jury box that he could have an ace in the hole. I don't know enough about the case to make a call but it kinda smells like a lawyer trick from here.
     
  8. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    Maybe it doesn't appear in the Constitution, but a simple search reveals it was obviously part of the beliefs of our founding fathers.

    Unless you'd like to argue with Mr. Thomas Jefferson, of course.

    In a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802:

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."

    Emphasis mine.
     
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  9. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    No need to argue with him...his reference to the 'seperation of church and state' means the government should not restrict the practice of religion, not that religion should be removed from government. That is a common misinterpretation that a lot of people make, though.
     
  10. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    What part of 'wall' isn't clear?
     
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  11. angellous_evangellous

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    I can see a high probability for a double standard:

    If the jurors had read about the mercy and forgiveness of God, they could have ordered a lessor sentence and the lawyer could be pleased. The jurors did not ask for "an eye for an eye," which is the quid pro quo rule of justice - the punishment should fit the crime. This principle is not found in the Bible alone. Furthermore, they did not request for the criminal to be raped with a stick and brutally killed, which would be the strictest interpretation of "an eye for an eye."

    Furthermore, the lawyer reached too far into the privacy of the jurors. It's none of his d**n business where values come from. Granted, if he doesn't want Neo-Nazis as jurors, that can be cleared up with jury selection. As jurors, they have the duty to review the case and assign penalty as fellow citizens. Taking a persons life is serious business, and religion deserves a say in life and death situations. They could be a group of Quakers that are complete passifists and would not dream of taking a person's life. Our social values come from a source, and the Bible is no less valid a source for values than any other.

    EDIT: So I am in agreement with Pah in post #3
     
  12. ayani

    ayani member

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    it's not so much that the jurors were consulting their faith that bothered me, but that they got together and tried to determine legal punishment based on religious texts. deciding justice by colsulting religious texts would be apropriate were this, as Prima said, a theocracy, but it is not. i would not feel comfortable with having deliberating jurors cracking open a Quran or the Dhammapada behind the closed door, either. there's nothing wrong with letting their private faith guide them privately, but when they are on a jury in a court of law and pull out a religious text to decide what is right and wrong that is, i believe, crossing a line.
     
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  13. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I have to agree with Gracie on this one. The jurors should have determined punnishment based on the established laws, rather than on religious texts which do not have the stature of law.
     
  14. oracle

    oracle Active Member

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    So how does an eye for an eye change anything?
     
  15. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Because that is not part of our law. Specific factors go into a death penalty judgement and biblical punishment is not one of them.
     
  16. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    I thought that this judgement was totally illigitimate. I think the judges decision was unconstitutional. I don't believe that there are any laws making it wrong for a jury (autonomous group of people) to consult a bible when making an opinion. Do do so is to break a persons right to freedom of religion.
     
  17. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    That would be covered in the instructions to the jury. Failure to follow standard procedure would be liable for contempt of court and voidance of any decision.
     
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