Jury Overturns Verdict Because Jurors Read The Bible

enaena
Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I hope this link works.



After reading this I have to ask---is it constitutional to believe the Bible? How can this legally disqualify the Jury?





*straps on Dick Cheney's jet pack and heads for the hills*
«134567

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 125
    billybobskybillybobsky Posts: 1,914member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ena

    I hope this link works.



    After reading this I have to ask---is it constitutional to believe the Bible? How can this legally disqualify the Jury?





    *straps on Dick Cheney's jet pack and heads for the hills*




    No, its not unconstitutional to believe in the bible. It is irrational to use the bible in deciding a man's fate in a court of law that shouldnt and doesnt have any connection to the christian faith. Its a good thing this verdict was thrown out. There is no logical reason to consult any information other than that presented in the case. If the jurors arent intelligent enough to make up their own minds and require an outside document to tell them a verdict, then something is definitely clouding their judgement and they should not be jurors...
  • Reply 2 of 125
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I think this is a case where the Judge was anti-death penalty and found/was given a reason to over turn a conviction.
  • Reply 3 of 125
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    Aj, the hypocrisy of christian death-penalty supporters. I have tried to bring up the question with Fellowship but haven't received an answer. In any case, I was raised catholic, and I have paid attention to that education. It is so that the old testament shows us a vengeful God, willing and able to strike fierceful for all matter of causes. This, however, is redeemed by Jesus. He shows us a new God image, or rather, so does God through him. No longer 'eye for an eye', but 'turn the other cheek'. We have a peaceloving God all of a sudden, who is willing and able to sacrifice his own son for the good of all humanity, in order to save all humanity. The new testament rendered obsolete many parts of the old testament (at least as far as being a source for present day morality -for christians- is concerned). Eye for an eye is very obsolete.



    Have you ever seen the movie 'Dead Man Walking'? In that movie too, the father fails to answer Sister Prejean when she rebukes his 'eye for an eye' with 'turn the other cheek'. This is all the same bible, only what matters most for christians?
  • Reply 4 of 125
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,454member
    It is a stupid decision. The point of sequesting the jury was to insure that they didn't read or see any news relating to the trial. The fact that some of them would read a book of any sort doesn't taint the judgement.



    I suppose we should insure that juries that are trying suspect terrorists don't read any Tom Clancy during the sequestering.



    As for Billybobsky's assertion that can't use their religious convictions to make judgements regarding trials. Of course they can. Everyone has influences that partially determine how they make judgements and decisions. Religious influences are not illegal.



    This is why lawyers are allowed to throw out certain jurors during the jury selection for pretty much any reason they desire. The defense attorney could simply ask, "Which book of the Bible is the verse "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth located in juror number 415?"



    If he says Matthew 5, I might want him on the jury. He might quote the verse and not convict.



    Quote:

    38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.



    Now if he said Exodus 21, I would say, "Your honor, I would like juror number 415 excused."



    Quote:

    24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.



    To me, it just shows his lawyer stunk at his job. You can find people both super sympathetic and ultra forgiving, or harshly condemning and wanting tit for tat. The fact that they both read and use the Bible to justify their positions just shows all are human.



    Nick
  • Reply 5 of 125
    I wouldn´t like to have Sharia based sentences because I am an atheist.



    I wouldn´t like to have old testament based sentence because I am an atheist.



    The idea of modern law is that the law is given by the people through the people they elect to pass laws. Its the job of the jurors and judges to interpretate what happened through the word of the law.
  • Reply 6 of 125
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    Quote:

    I wouldn´t like to have Sharia based sentences because I am an atheist.



    I wouldn´t like to have old testament based sentence because I am an atheist.



    so could i say i don't want a non-christian based sentence because i am a christian?
  • Reply 7 of 125
    Quote:

    Originally posted by der Kopf

    Aj, the hypocrisy of christian death-penalty supporters. I have tried to bring up the question with Fellowship but haven't received an answer. In any case, I was raised catholic, and I have paid attention to that education. It is so that the old testament shows us a vengeful God, willing and able to strike fierceful for all matter of causes. This, however, is redeemed by Jesus. He shows us a new God image, or rather, so does God through him. No longer 'eye for an eye', but 'turn the other cheek'. We have a peaceloving God all of a sudden, who is willing and able to sacrifice his own son for the good of all humanity, in order to save all humanity. The new testament rendered obsolete many parts of the old testament (at least as far as being a source for present day morality -for christians- is concerned). Eye for an eye is very obsolete...



    I'm a Christian and I'm opposed to the death penalty. My faith has something to do with my position but it's not the only reason I'm opposed. In all honesty the Bible can legitimately be used to justify either position. What the Bible says to this issue is much more complex than you make it out. As individuals we are to turn the other cheek but what is required of the state is a very different matter. The crucifixion doesn't neatly make the anti-death penalty case the way you imagine. God saw the death penalty, when imposed on his son, as a neccessary element in establishing his justice.
  • Reply 8 of 125
    Quote:

    Originally posted by alcimedes

    so could i say i don't want a non-christian based sentence because i am a christian?



    No you could not. I was talking about a political question, not a personal one (yes I know I missed an "s" in the end of the second sentence). Let not mud things up with any idea of each person chosing how which law that should apply to his case.



    I would argue for a law given by the people against a law given by god. Wouldn´t you?
  • Reply 9 of 125
    Quote:

    Originally posted by der Kopf



    Have you ever seen the movie 'Dead Man Walking'? In that movie too, the father fails to answer Sister Prejean when she rebukes his 'eye for an eye' with 'turn the other cheek'. This is all the same bible, only what matters most for christians?




    One more thing: this scene is problematic too. Sister Prejean rebuked the father but it was certainly easier for her to talk about forgiveness than it was for the father. Whose forgiveness came at a greater cost? - hers or the father's?
  • Reply 10 of 125
    enaena Posts: 667member
    Here is the kicker:



    What if somebody on a jury is sitting back and says "Hey, I remember that code of Hammurabi, hell they used to kill people for stealing children, if Hammurabi said it, then that settles it, give the guy the hot seat."



    Can we throw out that verdict out legally?
  • Reply 11 of 125
    enaena Posts: 667member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by zaphod_beeblebrox

    One more thing: this scene is problematic too. Sister Prejean rebuked the father but it was certainly easier for her to talk about forgiveness than it was for the father. Whose forgiveness came at a greater cost? - hers or the father's?





    In the context of the "if someone compels you to go with them one mile go two....turn the other cheek....." the "compels" [read commandeers] statement probably alludes to dealing with persons in authority---at that time the Romans. That verse has been handled by more than a few theologians in that matter. Taking into account the propensity of civil unrest at the time, it makes sense.
  • Reply 12 of 125
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    I am an opposer of the death penalty, but when it comes to the question why, I have to say I draw somewhat of a blank. I like to point out the manifold directions given by the bible, and claim that newer is better, but I think that these same multiple interpretations should be illustrative in dismissing the bible as the guideline in these matters. We shouldn't forget that the bible too was written by people, and these people had to make up their mind as well. We, as a society, should be able to do that again, adjust to different times and places, different mores. What is, in any case, a good reason not to execute people, if we would, for a moment, not take into account bible or sharia?



    Quote:

    As individuals we are to turn the other cheek but what is required of the state is a very different matter.



    I don't and can't agree with this. The 'state' you speak of is, in my mind, an 'uber'-person, who should think and act as any one person. The state is a congregation of people, a society, where all mechanisms that act within one person are macro-ised into large structures. It's hard for me to rationalize my disagreement at this point, but I do feel that there is a flaw in what you say.



    State, by the people for the people. \
  • Reply 13 of 125
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by zaphod_beeblebrox

    One more thing: this scene is problematic too. Sister Prejean rebuked the father but it was certainly easier for her to talk about forgiveness than it was for the father. Whose forgiveness came at a greater cost? - hers or the father's?



    I'm not sure what you're talking about here. I am convinced, however, (and this is already, to some degree, an answer to the question I asked myself in the post above), that answering violence with violence is not the right thing to do. Even in small things as arguing with people. The chain reaction of violence in that situation will land you with plenty of badness, sore egos and remorse in a relatively short period. The age-old cliche, don't sin to punish the sinner, is still as true as ever, and that might be a guideline. Don't stoop to the level of any nastiness-doer.
  • Reply 14 of 125
    billybobskybillybobsky Posts: 1,914member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    It is a stupid decision. The point of sequesting the jury was to insure that they didn't read or see any news relating to the trial. The fact that some of them would read a book of any sort doesn't taint the judgement.



    I suppose we should insure that juries that are trying suspect terrorists don't read any Tom Clancy during the sequestering.



    As for Billybobsky's assertion that can't use their religious convictions to make judgements regarding trials. Of course they can. Everyone has influences that partially determine how they make judgements and decisions. Religious influences are not illegal.



    This is why lawyers are allowed to throw out certain jurors during the jury selection for pretty much any reason they desire. The defense attorney could simply ask, "Which book of the Bible is the verse "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth located in juror number 415?"



    If he says Matthew 5, I might want him on the jury. He might quote the verse and not convict.







    Now if he said Exodus 21, I would say, "Your honor, I would like juror number 415 excused."







    To me, it just shows his lawyer stunk at his job. You can find people both super sympathetic and ultra forgiving, or harshly condemning and wanting tit for tat. The fact that they both read and use the Bible to justify their positions just shows all are human.



    Nick






    I think adultresses should be put to death.



    I think adulterers should be released.



    I think that thieves should have their hands chopped off.



    I think that anyone who kicks an animal should be strung up from their groin and fed to rapid badgers.

    (that was all well mostly sarcasm)



    Yeah, beliefs matter when convicting people. But you know regardless of this fact, Jurors should base their judgements on the legal facts of the case, on what has been presented to them, and on the law. I wouldnt want all of the juries deciding the fate of a suspected murderer to watch a documentary from the victim side of muders or from the defendents side. Anything that sways the jury during the trial one way or another that occurs outside of the trial is reason enough for declaring a mistrial. And this is why juries are sequestered. And this is why their reading material should be limited. And this is why no matter how good a lawyer you are, if things change the judgement of the jury during the course of the trial that are not directly due to what occurs in the 40'x40' trial room, you cant excuse jurors so swayed unless you can predict the future.



    These are jurors. They have the duty to uphold the law and the facts of the case above all else.
  • Reply 15 of 125
    haraldharald Posts: 2,152member
    Problem:



    Religious law is based generally on codes of behaviour from ancient times that were much more brutal and based on faith, which meant things that don't actually work very often.



    Example:



    Sharia law states that adulterous people get stoned (no not like that). Does anyone think that reduces adultery?



    Faith based law making (even without religion) gives rise to the death penalty (which does not reduce serious crime according to all serious academic study but may make some people feel a bit better) and prohibition. Prohibition of alcohol was an utter disaster, and the current prohibition of drugs is even more counter productive.



    When you take into account things that actually result in less offenders on the streets (paradoxically achieved often with fewer offenders in prisons) you have to say that there is no place for faith based law.



    Is it unconstitutional to belive in the Bible? Troll. It's definately unconstitutional to blur state and religion if that answers you. I find it incredible that at a time when the Bible never had it so good as part of the machinery of as US government people are bleating about how their beliefs are under attack. The opposite is true.
  • Reply 16 of 125
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,454member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by billybobsky

    I think adultresses should be put to death.



    I think adulterers should be released.



    I think that thieves should have their hands chopped off.



    I think that anyone who kicks an animal should be strung up from their groin and fed to rapid badgers.

    (that was all well mostly sarcasm)



    Yeah, beliefs matter when convicting people. But you know regardless of this fact, Jurors should base their judgements on the legal facts of the case, on what has been presented to them, and on the law. I wouldnt want all of the juries deciding the fate of a suspected murderer to watch a documentary from the victim side of muders or from the defendents side. Anything that sways the jury during the trial one way or another that occurs outside of the trial is reason enough for declaring a mistrial. And this is why juries are sequestered. And this is why their reading material should be limited. And this is why no matter how good a lawyer you are, if things change the judgement of the jury during the course of the trial that are not directly due to what occurs in the 40'x40' trial room, you cant excuse jurors so swayed unless you can predict the future.



    These are jurors. They have the duty to uphold the law and the facts of the case above all else.




    You both make and miss the point. Everyone comes into the court with their own prejudices when interpreting the law. Even the judges have prejudices which is why we have tried to have sentencing guidelines. This is why there is a jury selection with both the prosecution and defense being allowed to dismiss jurors. Both are trying to insure that the make up of the jury will be sympathetic to their own point of view.



    The point with the documentary, I just don't get. It is an obvious straw man. A documentary about the case presenting only one side would obviously influence in only one manner.



    If you were selecting a jury for a person accused of killing a cop would you want the wife or mother of another police officer on the jury? You would likely excuse them if you were the defense lawyer.



    The point is that who you are when you enter the court room doesn't change and it does affect how you look at the law. This is true not only for the Bible, but for who you marry, if you have children, where you work and live, etc.



    Attempting to control and corral only one of those variables is inane.



    Nick
  • Reply 17 of 125
    ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    But nonetheless is what should be done.



    The idea of a jury is that the match the case with the law: On what side of the legal/non-legal dikotomy is what happened placed. And what does the laws say the penalty should be in this case.



    If what you described was how it should be done we wouldn´t need the law at all (making the rights of the accused very theoretically)



    The ideal should be that the same case would be judged the same way by 10 diffferent jurys. And all based on law.
  • Reply 18 of 125
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I have mixed feelings on this. I'm not religious, but I do believe in jury nullification, which appears to be what happened here (although even that's debateable).



    Question: If the jury is merely to follow the facts of the case and apply the law, and their verdicts are thrown out if they deviate from that, then why have juries?
  • Reply 19 of 125
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by der Kopf

    Aj, the hypocrisy of christian death-penalty supporters. I have tried to bring up the question with Fellowship but haven't received an answer. In any case, I was raised catholic, and I have paid attention to that education. It is so that the old testament shows us a vengeful God, willing and able to strike fierceful for all matter of causes. This, however, is redeemed by Jesus. He shows us a new God image, or rather, so does God through him. No longer 'eye for an eye', but 'turn the other cheek'. We have a peaceloving God all of a sudden, who is willing and able to sacrifice his own son for the good of all humanity, in order to save all humanity. The new testament rendered obsolete many parts of the old testament (at least as far as being a source for present day morality -for christians- is concerned). Eye for an eye is very obsolete.



    Have you ever seen the movie 'Dead Man Walking'? In that movie too, the father fails to answer Sister Prejean when she rebukes his 'eye for an eye' with 'turn the other cheek'. This is all the same bible, only what matters most for christians?




    What? When? Where? I must have missed this.



    I have made it very clear I am 100% against the death penalty.



    Fellowship
  • Reply 20 of 125
    ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    I have mixed feelings on this. I'm not religious, but I do believe in jury nullification, which appears to be what happened here (although even that's debateable).



    Question: If the jury is merely to follow the facts of the case and apply the law, and their verdicts are thrown out if they deviate from that, then why have juries?




    Because reality and law doesn´t apply one-to-one. And it is believed that more people jointly using arguments will be able to come up with the best application of the law.



    But the continental european justice system is somewhat different that the american so there could be other reasons there
Sign In or Register to comment.