This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Texas man faces execution after jurors consult Bible to decide fate

Texas man faces execution after jurors consult Bible to decide fate - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

Texas, Texas, Texas...

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 18:53:00 UTC | #406287

JSB2024's Avatar Comment 2 by JSB2024

And we wonder why trigger-happy Texas has the highest city-level rates of violent crime in the union. Murder, assault, armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, car-jacking, burglary, and militia activity are all highest or among the highest in the pious state of Texas. The more religious and violent a judiciary gets, the worse the situation on the ground gets. Oy.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 19:00:00 UTC | #406288

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 3 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment #424530 by JSB2024 on October 17, 2009 at 8:00 pm
And we wonder why trigger-happy Texas has the highest city-level rates of violent crime in the union. Murder, assault, armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, car-jacking, burglary, and militia activity are all highest or among the highest in the pious state of Texas.

Most of the high crime rates are in the larger cities of Austin, Houston, and Dallas, where most people voted for Obama:

Bush won most of those, cities, but then again he had the advantage of being from Texas. Austin voted for Clinton twice.

This is typical everywhere. Big cities with lots of encroached poor people are where the highest crime rates exist. You've got a new theory I guess.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 19:28:00 UTC | #406297

Yebhx's Avatar Comment 4 by Yebhx

Sigh. Texas who since 1976 has performed 441 of the 1176 executions in the United states. 37% of the executions and 8% of the population. I'm not so sure the bible in the jury room made any difference, Texas just loves to execute people. The Texas Governor is being criticized right now for removing 3 members of a panel that were about to give a report on a possibly innocent man who was executed under his watch. Link

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 19:45:00 UTC | #406302

BJPentecost's Avatar Comment 5 by BJPentecost

That's deranged. Crap like this shouldn't be happening in the US today. It shouldn't be happening anywhere, let alone in one of the only countries with a clear, legal separation of church and state.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 20:07:00 UTC | #406311

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 6 by Cartomancer

Guns... check, Religion... check, Lawyers... check. Just a big bag of burgers and an illegal war of conquest and I'll have the full house!

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 20:15:00 UTC | #406313

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 7 by Peacebeuponme


That's deranged.
It's alarming, but unfortunately a by-product of the jury system, which I would not want to lose.

The jury is and should be entitled to make its mind up as it sees fit.

I don't see what can or should be done about cases like this. It's not as if there is any way of policing the internal reasoning of individual jurors.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 20:20:00 UTC | #406315

Koreman's Avatar Comment 8 by Koreman

West Talibanistan.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 20:26:00 UTC | #406318

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 9 by Nunbeliever

Well, we ALL know why the movie "Texas Chainsaw massacre" is named TEXAS. Because only in TEXAS can the most absurd things happen.... like G.W.Bush becoming president of the USA... and being REELECTED!!!

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 20:49:00 UTC | #406322

Dow's Avatar Comment 10 by Dow

Siiiiiigh... Will it ever stop??

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 20:49:00 UTC | #406323

migg's Avatar Comment 11 by migg

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 20:55:00 UTC | #406326

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 12 by TIKI AL

It could have been worse, they could have had Fox cable "news" on in the deliberation room.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:03:00 UTC | #406328

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 13 by KRKBAB

Okay, it's time. Send in the military. In fact, given it's reputation, I don't think we'd have a problem getting a multi-lateral group of enthusiastic supporters. Time to invade Tejas! Hey, I know- we'll get the Mexicans. They're there already!

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:04:00 UTC | #406329

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 14 by KRKBAB

Comment #424571 by TIKI AL on October 17, 2009 at 10:03 pm -It could have been worse, they could have had Fox cable "news" on in the deliberation room.
OR- Rick Warren!

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:07:00 UTC | #406330

superwolf's Avatar Comment 15 by superwolf

I think it's just a shame that they didn't know it well enough that they had to actually consult it.

Ok, bad joke, but obviously they conveniently skipped over all the parts where God condoned, participated, or just completed more obvious horrific acts than did the convicted murderer.

They got their judgment for the case from history's (real or imagined) most deranged criminal.

What if I was a juror in the deliberating room with them and consulted the Koran, or Homer's Odyssey, or an old videotape of Mr. Rogers, or Star Wars, or Pee Wee's Playhouse?

As much as it is possible for one to be informed from any and all of these, consulting them in front of the other jurors would and should constitute more than a verbal lashing. Unfuckingbelievable.

Glad I moved out of Texas when I did. It was a nightmare when I was there. Everything's in the closet, mainly because it's locked in there.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:36:00 UTC | #406338

Rikitiki13's Avatar Comment 16 by Rikitiki13

Sooo...if the jurors consulted the bible before issuing their verdict, there are only TWO questions:

a) when is the stoning

b) will Fox news be televising it£

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:43:00 UTC | #406342

Mayhemm's Avatar Comment 17 by Mayhemm

Has this been a headline before? Because the whole "instrument of iron" thing with a bible-consulting jury sounds really familiar.

Surely this isn't the second such case?

Or is it just because the guy's execution date is looming?

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:45:00 UTC | #406344

Machinus's Avatar Comment 18 by Machinus

I generally oppose the death penalty but this seems like less of a case of religious influence, and more of a case of incredulous anger. Did you read what he did? It's not that hard to imagine this happening without religion at all.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:46:00 UTC | #406345

j.mills's Avatar Comment 19 by j.mills

Yeah, as per what Machinus said, it sounds like a retrial is more in order than a commutation. (What am I saying?! I'm agin' the death penalty!)

Kate Allen, Amnesty International's UK director, said Oliver's trial was a "travesty".

"Religious texts provide consolation and spiritual guidance for billions of people the world over, but this use of the Bible to decide life or death in a capital trial is deeply, deeply troubling," she said.
By giving them the inch, Kate is giving them the mile. If the 'spiritual guidance' is worth a damn, then so too are the injunctions to kill for jeebus. The jury system is intrinsically problematic, but the line should be that judgement is made on the basis of the evidence presented. It isn't even the religiosity of the text that's the problem; it's the introduction of extraneous material. It would be just as 'wrong' to consult To Kill A Mockingbird...

(Although I could be talking rubbish. It's late.)

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:59:00 UTC | #406347

johannes's Avatar Comment 20 by johannes

Hmmm... wonder if any of the deliberation was on a Sunday. Nah, surely not, or they would've had to stone the jury as well. [Numbers 15:32]

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 22:05:00 UTC | #406348

mblarson323's Avatar Comment 21 by mblarson323

Like I keep sayin'! Don't wait for Texas to secede from the union. Let's just GIVE it back to the Mexicans! C'mon, how hard could it be to re-route that border fence so it goes all around the northern border of Texass.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 22:09:00 UTC | #406350

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 22 by Border Collie

There's a pretty large chance that many or most of the jurors were fundamentalist religious types anyway. Whether or not they consulted the Bible in the jury room, they'd probably consulted it many times before and probably when they went home at night. I pretty much agree with what is being said. I'm simply saying that it probably didn't make much difference either way. Along with a couple of murder trials of which I was in the potential jury pool, but wasn't selected, I sat on a six-person jury once in Fort Worth. They were the most ludicrous experiences of my life. The court system in Texas is so archaic, fossils have already formed. And, when the opposing attorneys are the most civilized and intelligent of the presiding officials, you know something's terribly wrong.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 22:10:00 UTC | #406351

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 23 by robotaholic

so basically religion/bible influenced the jurors to kill the person -

Just another instance of Religion Poisoning Everything -- EVERYTHING

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 22:27:00 UTC | #406355

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 24 by KRKBAB

Comment #424594 by mblarson323 - That sounds like fun- Protestant fundies in 'fightin' wit da Catholic fundies- TO THE DEATH!!!!! What and idea for a reality show.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 22:29:00 UTC | #406356

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 25 by TIKI AL

robotaholic @ 23: Religion and Fox News poison everything.

A tale of the 4 corner houses next door to me in Az:
SW: Mormons, republicans, watch Fox cable news.
SE: Catholics, republicans, watch Fox cable news.
NW: Catholics, republicans, watch Fox cable news.
NE: Jewish, democrats, watch Fox cable business news.

We are doomed.

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 00:23:00 UTC | #406369

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 26 by Bonzai

There is no biblical basis for lethal injection, maybe they should stone the guy to death, or hit him with an iron bar.

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 00:37:00 UTC | #406371

debaser71's Avatar Comment 27 by debaser71

So if potential jurors are going to be basing their decisions on religion then the defense attorney can discriminate against the religious jurors, right? Ya know, insist on secular folk. Right?

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 00:54:00 UTC | #406372

Kmita's Avatar Comment 28 by Kmita

Imo we should turn him into a mound of salt.

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 00:58:00 UTC | #406374

LittleFluffyClouds's Avatar Comment 29 by LittleFluffyClouds

Guys, guys....

the guy kicked in a guy's door, stole his rifle, and shot him in the face with it.

It's true consulting the bible is insane, but is it that much of a tragedy that this guy is dying?

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 01:07:00 UTC | #406376

sonnygll's Avatar Comment 30 by sonnygll

Consulting the bible is pretty stupid. Not just because it's full of nonsense either. If you burglarizes someone's house, beat them and then shoot them in the face, thereby killing the person, chances are you are getting the death penalty unless it is illegal in your state. In Texas, they would execute you twice if they could. It happens all the time completely sans bible.

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 01:46:00 UTC | #406382