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March 29, 2005

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Taco John

When I served on a jury over the summer, I got to experience what reasonable doubt was. It's the feeling in your gut that you are absolutely positive someone did something, but your brain says "If the woman knew if she was hit with a brick or a chair, we could sew this up in a second."
I could have used these tips, would have made the time pass must more quickly.

Mike

Taco John, did you blog about your experience as a juror? I would love to read (and, of course, link to) such a post.

Abnu

Crossmap News weighs in:

By a 3-2 vote, the Supreme Court of Colorado threw out a death sentence conviction of Robert Harlan, who raped Rhonda Maloney at gunpoint for 2 hours before fatally shooting her. The original death sentence was reduced to life without parole. Defense attorney Kathleen Lord argued before the state Supreme Court last month that the jurors had gone outside the law and "They went to the Bible to find out God's position on capital punishment." The decision has met sharp opposition from conservative groups. Focus on the Family vice-president for government and public policy, Tom Minnery, stated "today's ruling further confirms that the judicial branch of our government is nearly bereft of any moral foundation."

Monday's ruling said the Bible and other religious writings are considered "codes of law by many" in Colorado. But noting that it takes a unanimous jury to impose a death sentence here, the court said "at least one juror in this case could have been influenced by these authoritative passages ... when he or she may otherwise have voted for a life sentence."

In their dissent, Justices Nancy Rice and Rebecca Love Kourlis said the evidence did not show biblical passages influenced jurors. "It is important to note that the concept of extraneous information does not include the general knowledge a juror brings to court," Rice wrote.

Gov. Bill Owens said Monday's ruling was "demeaning to people of faith and prevents justice from being served."

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