High Court Skips Bible-Based Death Penalty Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a Colorado court ruling that invalidated a convict’s death sentence because jurors consulted the Bible.

Earlier this year, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in People v. Harlan that jurors violated Robert Harlan’s constitutional right to a fair trail when they consulted the Bible before sentencing him to death. Prosecutors appealed the decision to the Supreme Court arguing that the jurors’ scripture references did not improperly influence their decision.

A state trial judge overturned the death penalty after discovering that jurors read passages from Leviticus, including one that said “whoever kills a man shall be put to death.”

The trial judge wrote, “Jury resort to biblical code has no place in a constitutional death penalty proceeding.”

On Oct. 3, the Supreme Court without comment refused to accept the case.