Bibles in Juryroom- important decision by United States Supreme Court

A Texas death row inmate, Khristian Oliver claimed his constitutional rights were violated by jurors bringing bibles and discussing the bible during deliberations of his punishment. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was not error, that the decision of death penalty was not harmful error by the jurors having bibles and discussing that whomever kills by an iron rod shall die. The United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case, on April 20, 2009.
My friend Winston Cochran was the appellate attorney for the defendant. Winston teaches Bible studies. Maybe he was trying to lose this case? He failed to rely on Robinson v. Polk, 438 F.3D 350, 368-376, that the key issue is whether the bible(s) were a deliberative aid and not just personal use.
A jury needs to be free of external influences under the Sixth Amendment.

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Comment by Kitty on June 23, 2009 at 7:28pm
This ruling chills me to the very bone.
Comment by Lynn M. on April 26, 2009 at 9:50pm
I am appalled the SC refused to grant a writ of cert. But you make a good point, Jeff, in regard to the defendant's lawyer. The lawyer's appeal may not have contained the components it should have to provide the basis of merit for a review. If that was the case, I wonder if Oliver would be able to get a different attorney and appeal on the grounds of malfeasance in his defense.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on April 26, 2009 at 9:43pm
A jury decision was overturned in Colorado because a bible was brought into the deliberation room and biblical quotes were used in jury arguments.
Comment by Angie Jackson on April 26, 2009 at 5:11pm
Whoa, good point. I've never been on a jury, so I didn't realize people could bring in bibles



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