A convicted rapist and murderer escapes a death sentence because some of the jurors consulted the Bible for guidance:
DENVER – The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday threw out the death penalty in a rape-and-murder case because jurors had studied Bible verses such as “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” during deliberations.
On a 3-2 vote, justices ordered Robert Harlan to serve life in prison without parole for kidnapping 25-year-old cocktail waitress Rhonda Maloney in 1994 and raping her at gunpoint for two hours.
The jurors in Harlan’s 1995 trial sentenced him to die, but defense lawyers discovered five of them had looked up Bible verses, copied them down and talked about them while deliberating a sentence behind closed doors.
The Supreme Court said that “at least one juror in this case could have been influenced by these authoritative passages to vote for the death penalty when he or she may otherwise have voted for a life sentence.”
I see. So from now on, instead of being sworn in on a Bible, all prospective jurors in Colorado will have to “pinky-swear” with the judge.