Attorneys for one of the death row artists who was in our 2006 art show “Justice for All?” Artists Reflect on the Death Penalty“, Khristian Oliver, on Jan 5, 2009 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court opinion (PDF) rejecting their claim that jurors’ use of the Bible in deliberations violated Oliver’s constitutional rights.

From an IHT story:

“This is headed toward a showdown on a very fundamental question on the use of the Bible,” Winston Cochran, Oliver’s lawyer, said.

At issue is a verse in Chapter 35 of Numbers which, in the New American Standard Bible, reads: “But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death.” Other versions of the Bible have similar passages, some of them referring to an “iron rod” as the weapon.

Defense lawyers interviewing jurors after Oliver’s capital murder trial discovered jurors had Bibles with them during deliberations.

At a state district court hearing two months after the trial, four jurors testified about the presence of Bibles in the jury room and gave varying accounts, ranging from one Bible to several being present. One juror testified he and fellow jurors carried the books with them because they would go to Bible study in the evenings following the day’s court proceedings,

Another juror testified any reading from the books came after they had reached a decision. A third said the reading of Scripture was intended to make people feel better about their decision.

“What do you expect them to say?” Cochran said. “Some judge is scowling at them. Are they going to come in there and say they’ve just ruined your five-week death penalty trial?

“It’s error, absolutely error. To me, if there’s any doubt about it, you ought to either just commute the guy to life or do a new punishment hearing. The sensible thing would be to commute it to life.”

Oliver is at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison where inmates undergo treatment for psychiatric conditions and could not be interviewed.

Below is the artwork that Oliver had in the show.

Share →

4 Responses to Kristian Oliver Asks Supreme Court to Rule on Reading of Bible During Deliberations

  1. No es Espírita says:

    Using the Bible is not a problem, the problem is the evil of those who use the Bible with maliciousness, with intentions diametrically opposites of the Spirit of the Scriptures, We received of Mar Paolas Apostle: 'But we know that the Law is good if one uses it lawfully' First Letter to Timotheas the Elder, Chpt.1 , Ver. 8; They use not this they call "Bible" (Biblos) integrally when They took a passage of the T'rah / The Law (the Five Books of Moses the Prophet), being christians that not nonconsenting with an application of the T'rah for this days (according to their dogmatic arguments), why then they do not kill adulterers too?, As it is written: 'The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.', Why can not said? and, not said Maran?:'But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.' Gospel according to Mar Mattai, Chap. 5, Ver.28, they do not use the Holy Law not to apply it to themselves, like some Pharisees in times of Maran, and today like some corrupted ministers, when Maran said:'For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.', that procedure is not of G'D, because it is written: 'Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.' Book of Psalms Chp. 89, Ver. 14..

  2. Manuel C. says:

    Woe for those Judges who use the Holy Scriptures ignoring that Mar Kepha Apostle said: The Lord is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any shoul perish but that all shoul come to repentance' Second Letter of Mar Kepha Chap. 3, Ver. 9 because We know how Maran proceeded when the Samaritans denied the welcome to him: said to His Disciples, the Envoys: 'And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Our Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”' Gospel according to Mar Luka, Chap. 9, Vers. 54-57, The Rabbi Y'shua of G'lila said: 'He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.' Gospel According to Mar Mattai Chap. 12, Ver. 30, and Mar Paolas Apostle in First the Letter to Timotheas the Elder said tha G'D:'desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.', I do not recommend to any to proceed in that manner; Rab Gamaliel said: 'lest you even be found to fight against God' Woe to those who despise the mercy in the midst of his trial!, Because It is written: 'For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.', and Do not you know that the burnt offerings and the sacrifices were the shedding of Blood that It was shed for the forgiveness of sins?; It is written: ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them.’ Book of Deutoronomy Chap. 27, Vers. 26, but the same Holy Book said clearly: 'Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words', It is happens that all the sins written in the same context are worthy of death (see. the Book of Deutoronomy Chap. 27, 11-26), Mar Paolas writes in the Letter to the Romans, Chap. 3, Ver. 26 : 'by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ' and: And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of there is no remission, As It is written: 'no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.' Book of Numbers, Chap. 35, Ver. 33. but it happens that this is the same chapter and the same book that they used to condemn to Kristian Oliver in the same context (Chapter 35, but the same Law reedemed him of all faul for because they have Justification in the Redemption of the Lamb!), But in that very manners We received for the Hands of the Envoys: 'But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, M'shiacha died for us.' Letter to the Romans Chap. 5, Ver. 8. and can see Vers. 5-7, and It is written to the Galatians: 'I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then M'shiacha died in vain.' Chp. 2, Vers. 21.

  3. Manuel C, says:

    Maran Y'shua said!: 'You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you not to resist an evil person.' Gospel according to Mar Mattai, Chap. 5, Ver. 37, You can defend against the enemy if he tried to kill anybody in the moment, but you don't have to kill him! (see Gospel according to Mar Luka Chap. 22, Ver.36) Maran spoke: 'all who take the sword will perish by the sword.' Gospel according to Mar Mattai Chap. 26, Ver. 52. They say that they are Christians, but a Letter to christians says: 'Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.' but this is not for the one who said to be christian and seek the death of this ignorant people whose not know the Law like those who use the Law in that not good manner, but those are not Brothers of the author who said this, and therefore this letter is not for them, because is among brethren, not among strangers; and even It is written: 'You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.' but you can read: Gospel of Mar Mattai, Chap. 18, Ver. 17. They using the Law but not appling it (Letter to Romans, Chap. 2, Vers. 21-23). If they condemn the inmates to death, then for whose kind of people whom they call Christ and Savior died? then for what He is died if they still apply the death for the ignorant murderers? so then, What was the purpose to redeemed Us? redeem: formal to carry out a promise or pay back a debt . (Cambridge Dictionary). Mar Paolas the Apostle writes: 'M'shiacha has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)' Letter to the Galatians, Chap. 3, Ver.13, because It is written: ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them.’ (see. the Book of Deutoronomy Chap. 27, 11-26) 'Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.' Letter from Mar Paolas to Timotheas the Elder, Chap 1, Ver. 9-11. In The Second Book of Chronicles said to the Judges:'And he commanded them, saying, “Thus you shall act in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and with a loyal heart'. To those who forget the mercies made to them and return evil for evil, What will happen to them? Mar Kepha the Apostle in His First Letter, Chap. 3, Ver. 9, writes: 'Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.' and Mar Paolas the Apostle said: 'Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.' Letter to the Romans, Chap. 12, Ver. 17.

  4. Manuel C. says:

    While some are put to death, Y'shua the Messiah said to the Men: 'Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.' Gospel According to Mar Yohanan Apostle, Chap. 5, Vers.14. Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?. Proverbs Chap. 24, Vers. 11-12. Will we do otherwise? Are they more sinners than M'nasheh King of Y'huda to not deserve forgiveness. (Second Book of Chronicles Chap. 33, Vers. 1-20

    Death to the inmates arguing with the Law given in the Holy Sinai, what about the expiation for the sinners?
    (Letter to the Romans, Chapter 7, Versicles 1-5)

    Really in GOD we trust?

    Serve as testimony that if they given death penalty having no true reason, according to the Scriptures and using them wrongly,apart from that is incostitucional according to the US Constitution, that surely to those running the trial, they will have to account for the blood shed, having forgiveness and rendemption consummated because the Messiah, they surely will received a fair retribution.

    They will have to account for this bloodshed.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: