Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Using Scripture in Trial, Part V.

Within the last two weeks, the California Supreme Court has addressed another death penalty case where the prosecutor deigned to quote scripture. Link it here:

The defendant appealed and argued, among many other things, that the biblical references required a reversal of the death sentence. The California Supreme Court disagreed and affirmed.

Unlike the March, 2005 case (People v. Harrison) that we discussed here, here and here, this opinion does not provide the supposedly offending scripture quotations or even references to what the prosecutor said.

This omission is odd because word economy was not a virtue of this opinion. It spans over 115 pages. Yet, despite all that verbiage, the Court nowhere informs the reader what actually was argued to the jury with respect to scripture.

In fact, this abject lack of factual analysis, if written on a law school exam, would garner a very low grade.