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Man faces execution after jurors consult Bible to decide

October 21 2009 at 10:16 PM

Sir Bollocks Poppycock Balderdash III  (Login JVH)

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Amnesty International has appealed to the state to commute the sentence on Khristian Oliver, 32, who is due to die on November 5.

Oliver was sentenced to death in 1999 for murdering a man whose home Oliver was burgling. The victim was shot in the face and beaten with his own rifle.

It later emerged that while deciding whether he should be given the death penalty, jurors consulted the Bible. Four jury members admitted that several copies had been in the jury room and that highlighted passages were passed around.

At one point, a juror reportedly read aloud from a copy, including the passage: "And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death."

Defence lawyers argued in appeals that jurors had been improperly influenced by the Bibles but the trial judge rejected the claim, a decision upheld by a Texas appeals court.

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