1. Standard memberwib
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    29 Mar '05 16:281 edit
    Death sentence by jury that discussed Bible thrown out
    Tuesday, March 29, 2005 Posted: 8:24 AM EST (1324 GMT)

    DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- Ruling that juries cannot turn to the Bible for advice during deliberations, a divided Colorado Supreme Court threw out the death penalty for a convicted murderer because jurors discussed Bible verses.

    The rest of the story:
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/29/bible.deliberations.ap/index.html

    Interesting. I agree with the court's decision here. Jurors should weigh the evidence and the facts. That's difficult enough without bringing spiritual passages into it.
  2. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    29 Mar '05 16:583 edits
    Originally posted by wib
    [b]Death sentence by jury that discussed Bible thrown out
    Tuesday, March 29, 2005 Posted: 8:24 AM EST (1324 GMT)

    DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- Ruling that juries cannot turn to the Bible for advice during deliberations, a divided Co ...[text shortened]... 's difficult enough without bringing spiritual passages into it. [/b]
    Interesting case. I would expect the Court to be divided, but I think the majority blew it. The issue of a juror's religious belief impacting his decision is an issue to be handled at the time of jury selection. If the attorneys or the Court don't want Biblically influenced decisions, it is their responsibility to filter out such jurors during selection. If they fail to, they should live with the outcome. I find the fact that a physical Bible was consulted to be irrelevant, for "turning to the Bible" could also take the form of using memorized verses during deliberation.
  3. Standard memberWheely
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    29 Mar '05 17:08
    This judgement is odd. A jury is supposed to be made up of your peers. If you are an rampant agnostic, I would hope you wouldn't get anybody who gave a packet of mixed nuts for the bible in your jury. If, however, you live your life by the Bible, maybe there is an argument for jurors discussing its text
  4. Standard memberwib
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    29 Mar '05 17:33
    Originally posted by Wheely
    This judgement is odd. A jury is supposed to be made up of your peers. If you are an rampant agnostic, I would hope you wouldn't get anybody who gave a packet of mixed nuts for the bible in your jury. If, however, you live your life by the Bible, maybe there is an argument for jurors discussing its text
    The rule of law is supposed to be the deciding factor though. The bible shouldn't be effecting decisions as to whether someone gets the death penalty or not. The problem with allowing it is this - where does it end?

    Remember all that crazy stuff in the bible about stoning people, not working on the Sabbath, taking your brother's wife, etc. Some of those "rules" are just plain crazy. I'd hate to have to decipher what exactly all of that means. Biblical scholars can't even agree on it.

    If we bring the bible into our laws we'd have people having their hands cut off because they plowed their farm with a mule on a saturday following a full moon. (disclaimer: I made that up)

    But you get the point.



  5. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    29 Mar '05 17:332 edits
    Originally posted by Wheely
    This judgement is odd. A jury is supposed to be made up of your peers.
    You make a good observation, but I'd like to see No1 give us some background on the idea of a jury of ones peers.

    For example, my naive analysis would be this: Suppose a devout Christian who attempts to live his life by Biblical principles is accused of a crime. Under this Court's ruling, if it extends to Biblical knowledge and not simply a physical Bible, that defendant could never receive a jury of his peers, and thus could never be tried, for the Constituion guarantees him due process.

    But there must be some sort of flaw in this argument, for a child molester is not entitled to a jury of child molesters. So, No1, what does the idea of a jury of ones peers entail, and what is the motivation behind it?

    Dr. S
  6. Standard memberWheely
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    29 Mar '05 18:01
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    You make a good observation, but I'd like to see No1 give us some background on the idea of a jury of ones peers.

    For example, my naive analysis would be this: Suppose a devout Christian who attempts to live his life by Biblical principles is accused of a crime. Under this Court's ruling, if it extends to Biblical knowledge and not simply a ph ...[text shortened]... hat does the idea of a jury of ones peers entail, and what is the motivation behind it?

    Dr. S
    Interesting point as is the one above yours. It seems we can not have a jury of our peers although I don't think "peer" means clone. We don't know that jurors are interpreting the law as such though do we? That is obviously wrong. However, if I discuss with like minded jurors issues of ethics during a trial, isn't that similar to two Christians discussing the bible. I agree it SHOULD have no bearing on the decision because that is supposed to be based on fact but why should I be able to discuss ethics, perhaps deciding if a character witness should be respected, whereas a Christian can not discuss there ethics.

    It seems an simple problem to start with but I'm not so sure.
  7. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    29 Mar '05 18:121 edit
    Originally posted by Wheely
    However, if I discuss with like minded jurors issues of ethics during a trial, isn't that similar to two Christians discussing the bible.

    why should I be able to discuss ethics, perhaps deciding if a character witness should be respected, whereas a Christian can not discuss there ethics.
    That is the crux of the matter as I see it.

    But I disagree with the idea that ethical or Biblical consideration have no place in deliberations. Jurors are not intended to be fact-finding automata. If they were, we could do away with them altogether and always let a judge decide, for judges by their training would be considerably more able. But we are a government of the people. If the people think that Biblical considerations are important, then they should deliberate accordingly, within the boundaries of the jury instructions that are given to them. Until a judge is prepared to include "Make no ethical judgments during deliberation" in the jury instructions, such considerations are certainly appropriate, and no juror's particular variety of ethics should be curtailed.
  8. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Mar '05 18:58
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    You make a good observation, but I'd like to see No1 give us some background on the idea of a jury of ones peers.

    For example, my naive analysis would be this: Suppose a devout Christian who attempts to live his life by Biblical principles is accused of a crime. Under this Court's ruling, if it extends to Biblical knowledge and not simply a ph ...[text shortened]... hat does the idea of a jury of ones peers entail, and what is the motivation behind it?

    Dr. S
    The concept of a "jury of one's peers" was simply that a jury should not be composed of nobles and aristocrats, but that fact finding in a criminal case can be done by the "commoners". It evolved out of the English common law as another protection for the common man from the nobility. It is not required that the jury share your viewpoints; only that the way the jury pool is chosen and the jury selected be designed to get a representative cross-section of the population. Whether it succeeds at this is dubious.

    I will look at the actual decision in this case, rather than the news report, when I can and give my impressions. On its face, it seems odd but I would like to see the actual facts relied upon in the opinion before I venture a judgment.
  9. Standard memberwib
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    29 Mar '05 20:18
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The concept of a "jury of one's peers" was simply that a jury should not be composed of nobles and aristocrats, but that fact finding in a criminal case can be done by the "commoners". It evolved out of the English common law as another protection for the common man from the nobility. It is not required that the jury share your viewpoints; o ...[text shortened]... ut I would like to see the actual facts relied upon in the opinion before I venture a judgment.
    Thanks No1.
  10. Subscribermedullah
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    29 Mar '05 20:30
    Does anybody know if the bible's doctrine on capital punishment for murder was ever scrptually repealed?
  11. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    29 Mar '05 20:58
    Originally posted by medullah
    Does anybody know if the bible's doctrine on capital punishment for murder was ever scrptually repealed?
    There was the stone casting incident.

    It's interesting to note that even here in Spirituality, the First Stone has yet to be cast.
  12. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    29 Mar '05 21:081 edit
    this might help:

    Inquiry into validity of verdict or indictment. Upon an inquiry into the validity of a verdict or indictment, a juror may not testify as to any matter or statement occurring during the course of the jury's deliberations or to the effect of anything upon that or any other juror's mind or emotions as influencing the juror to assent to or dissent from the verdict or indictment or concerning the juror's mental processes in connection therewith, except that a juror may testify on the question whether extraneous prejudicial information was improperly brought to the jury's attention or whether any outside influence was improperly brought to bear upon any juror. Nor may a juror's affidavit or evidence of any statement by the juror concerning a matter about which the juror would be precluded from testifying be received for these purposes.

    http://www.ajs.org/jc/juries/jc_decision_misconduct.asp






  13. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    29 Mar '05 21:15
    It's appears the trial judge granted a new trial, after he learned of the jurors were consulting Mosaic Law, including " an eye for an eye" .
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