Give Us Barabbas!
A Killer has been Reprieved!
The irony of the timing is obvious:
Death Penalty Tossed Over Bible VersesOdd, the story neglects to mention he then murdered her.
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.Which changes nothing about the fact that he brutally murdered someone.
Yet due to a bizarre technicality, there is no penalty of death.
No, our Standards must be of the Highest Level when the court is to order Death!
You know, "due process" and all.
Never mind even that the whole point of juries is that they bring their personal life experiences with them. Never mind it is indistinguishable between someone looking at the verse and someone recalling having once read the verse.
So what, now anyone who's ever read the Bible is tainted in applying the law and cannot serve on a jury?
Like it isn't part of their personality and reasoning process? If jurors weren't meant to use their experiences in reaching decisions of applying the law, then why do we have juries at all? Seems kind of stupid, if they're just a robotic rubber stamp, doesn't it? We could just have a computer act as the jury, couldn't we?
Or maybe we have juries because, you know, their independence is the whole point?
This is nothing but absurdly narrow debate-team tactics, to get a desired anti-death-penalty result. This Court had previously looked hard for reasons to overturn this Death penalty; 5 years ago this very day, they came close, but couldn't quite justify their flimsy reasoning:
The Colorado Supreme Court upheld Robert Harlan's death sentence Monday, but said it came close to overturning it because of jury selection problems. The high court also said it feared racial bias against Harlan, who is black, because an all-white jury convicted him of kidnaping, raping and murdering a Caucasian woman...3/28/00Well, now they found their reason to do it:
"Don't we have a duty to make sure the death penalty isn't imposed under religious passion or prejudice?" Justice Gregory Hobbs asked...2/2/05Yes, Justice Hobbs, religion ALWAYS leads to prejudice and passion, which you are above. Yet, I think someone's own "prejudices" against religion are showing!
In the big picture, this is just another demonstration that the REAL struggle isn't over the individual issues; but rather that the weird, contradictory positions of the Left are actually simply an assault on anything connected with religion.
Hence the attempt to remove "under God" from the Pledge. Or championing embryonic stem cell research when adult stem-cell research is more fruitful and scientifically sound, never even mind worrying about moral issues!
Or any Bush policy, whether Social Security or bringing liberty to the Middle East, even if objectively useful to millions of people, MUST FAIL, because, you know, he believes in God and prays and stuff.
Or why innocent, non-terminal, (previously) non-suffering Terri Schiavo MUST DIE!
Whereas a cold-blooded demonic killer MUST LIVE!
It's all because just whatever the "God people" seem to want, the Left has to oppose, in a knee-jerk mindless reaction of contrary obstruction.
If God is to be kept dead, nothing that has any source in God must succeed, to prove the point.
Or to maintain the fiction.
Maybe it's the Left that's dead. Braindead, at least -- it only seems to twitch in response to external stimulus, like a great dead monster, still dangerous in its lashing out.
Can they really believe we will turn into a Taliban-like theocracy the moment a position that happens to have the backing of Christians triumphs politically? The irrational fear on the Left of religion is what's driving this. It's narcissistic and infantile, because they refuse to believe there might be any standards of morality for which they might receive social censure for transgressing; that would simply be too painful for their fragile, guilty egos, so instead they must tear down and discredit the whole concept of religious-based morality.
As if we'd have an Inquisistion the moment they let up. Which brings up a side point: the Inquisition has received undue bad press, in service to the cause of discrediting religion. All legal systems are flawed -- witness the Schiavo case! But taken as a whole, the Papal Courts were actually a REFORM, in that they provided a process for reviewing evidence and charges against people. See the latest scholarship. I mean, think of it! Before these courts, it was a nightmare of chaos in the Middle Ages, with mob violence meting out vigilante punishments for arbitray and capricious reasons being the norm. The Inquisition, though sometimes misused for political purposes (what isn't, eventually?) functioned to get many innocents vindicated!
It is ironic therefore that witch hunts were rare in Italy and Spain where the inquisition was most largely responsible for carrying them out. This was in part because the inquisition was always more lenient than secular authorities and less likely to impose the death penalty. To common people this rather lessened the attraction of reporting neighbours for vindictive reasons. Also, the inquisition had higher standards of evidence which tended to disregard the confessions of witches incriminating each other and inquisitors were markedly sceptical about some of the more fantastic stories of broomsticks and devils. The most famous case involved the release of 1,500 alleged witches held by the Spanish inquisition after an investigation by an inquisitor uncovered massive flaws and inconsistencies in the evidence.But you won't hear that from the guardians of the Culture. No, we're to be ashamed.
(Sources: pages 260 – 1, Rodney Stark For the Glory of God Princeton 2003; page 113, Peters; see also: Gustav Henningsen The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (1609-1614), 1980 and Brian P Levack The Witch-hunt in Early Modern Europe Harlow 1995)
But I digress...
The Left has sunk to intellectually bankrupt bigotry. But the contradictions are piling up so fast and thick, strange realignments are happening.
The lobby for the disabled is now quite alarmed at the Schiavo case; it's not only the relibiously-motivated that are protesting down in Florida!
For example, Jay Nordlinger writes at NRO,
I quote the Wall Street Journal: "Demonstrating in her wheelchair with a 'Feed Terri' sign in Florida this week, Eleanor Smith — a self-described lesbian, liberal and agnostic — told Reuters: 'At this point I would rather have a right-wing Christian decide my fate than an ACLU member.'"Amen to that!