Technicalities

July 17, 2005 at 9:36 am (WTF)

Found the link to this one on Fark

The whole thing here doesn't make sense to me…what do you think? I'll comment after, of course.

DENVER – The Colorado Supreme Court threw out the death sentence Monday of a man convicted of raping and killing a cocktail waitress because jurors consulted the Bible during deliberations.

The court said Bible passages, including the verse that commands “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” could lead jurors to vote for death.

The justices ordered Robert Harlan to serve life in prison without parole for the 1994 slaying of Rhonda Maloney.

Harlan’s attorneys challenged the sentence after discovering five jurors had looked up Bible verses, copied some of them down and then talked about them behind closed doors.

Prosecutors said jurors should be allowed to refer to the Bible or other religious texts during deliberations.

The ruling just doesn't make sense to me.

Obviously the jury screwed up–the Bible's not a legal text, it's a religious one. Given. No problem there–they fucked up. So why wasn't he retried instead of having his sentence commuted to life? He killed that waitress–a jury of his peers said so just before they said he should die because the Bible said so. Now, if they were at fault with the sentence, isn't it likely they fucked up on his guilt or innocence also?

It just seems to me that this is why there are such things as retrials based on improper procedure in the courtroom and jury box. When the court decides to kill a person because they killed another person, it really should be an all or nothing situation. If there's an irregularity anywhere involving the people responsible for deciding someone should die, then the whole process should be redone.

This guy goes from a death sentence to life in prison. Some would say that's nice. Others would say he should pay the full penalty the law allows. What the Supreme Court has done here isn't a good precedent for enforcing current capital punishment laws and doesn't bode well for states instituting new provisions for the death penalty. They've decided that since the jury didn't get it right the first time, existing legal procedure (a retrial based on the technicality) for the situation simply won't cut it–Colorado has to feed, clothe, give health care to and otherwise support for the rest of an unnatural life a man sentenced to die for his crime.

Sorry if I offend here, but that's just bullshit–if there's question about his trial, there should be a retrial. If this guy really did kill that woman, he should pay for it as the law provides. In other words, he's getting away with murder. Sure, he gets to live in prison, but that's better than what he left for Rhonda Maloney.

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