[Marxism] wait till the U.S. religious right gets hold of this one

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Mar 28 22:44:51 MST 2005


Colorado Court Bars Execution Because Jurors Consulted Bible
By KIRK JOHNSON

Published: March 29, 2005

DENVER, March 28 - In a sharply divided ruling, Colorado's highest court 
on Monday upheld a lower court's decision throwing out the sentence of a 
man who was given the death penalty after jurors consulted the Bible in 
reaching a verdict. The Bible, the court said, constituted an improper 
outside influence and a reliance on what the court called a "higher 
authority."

"The judicial system works very hard to emphasize the rarified, solemn 
and sequestered nature of jury deliberations," the majority said in a 
3-to-2 decision by a panel of the Colorado Supreme Court. "Jurors must 
deliberate in that atmosphere without the aid or distraction of 
extraneous texts."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/29/national/29bible.html


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someone on marxmail last week wondered why some of us are interested in 
what the US legal system says and does. i just want to go on record as 
applauding this bourgeoise ruling. i know this probably doesnt qualify 
in classical marxist terms as "sharpening contradictions" (i love the 
sound of that phrase). But it will have the affect of once again drawing 
a useful line in the sand: the Bible an extraneous text???

those who read the full text of the Times article will see much of it 
questions whether the Bible is "really" at issue here. But in THIS 
country, at THIS time, given a case with a particularly brutal crime, 
people will be asking themselves to what extent the Bible should be 
present in "civil life" (another bourgeoise term). i know its said that 
hard cases make bad law. but as in the Schiavo case, its precisely the 
hard cases that call people out of bourgeoise isolation to consult each 
other on where they stand. This is especially true if something forces 
them to take a side or stand. and in the US, thats (creepingly) slow but 
forward progress.

les schaffer




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