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Caylee Anthony 2 years old Not reported missing for a month after she was last seen.


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Old 07-01-2011, 06:57 PM
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Will the defense quote from biblical scriptures during closing argument?

I had this thought a while ago but have only got round to posting it today.

Do you guys think Jose Baez will refer to biblical passages in his closing arguments?

This isn't really a debate about religion, the merits of any particular religion or sacred text, Oo whether or not people should live their lives according to any particular religious doctrine.

However, the simple fact is that Juror Number 4 (the African American lady who the state tried to exercise a peremptory strike against), has stated that she has a hard time judging people due to her own religious beliefs. Upon being pressed she stated that she could judge people if she had to and referred to praying about her decision. I don't know if she explicitly stated her religion however, I presume it is save to say that this lady is a christian of some kind.

Like it or lump it this lady will place a lot of sway in the Bible. She doesn't want to judge others due to her religious beliefs, it makes sense that if forced to judge Casey that she will turn to the bible for guidance.

In particular, this is a circumstantial evidence case and there are no witnesses that can say "I saw Casey kill Caylee" or anything similar. Regardless of how one judge's the weight of evidence against Casey, there are simply no witnesses to the death of Caylee Anthony who have testified.

Because of this I think, Deuteronomy 17:6 is a scripture which if Juror #4 is referred to, could cause her to vote not guilty.

Quote:
On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.

Deuteronomy 17:6
Similar scriptures are:

Quote:
Matthew 18:16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'

John 8:17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid.

2 Corinthians 13:1 This will be my third visit to you. "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

1 Timothy 5:19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. (This one perhaps isn't too helpful to the defense since it would suggest Death to be an appropriate sentence if she was guilty)

Numbers 35:30 "'Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. (This one perhaps isn't too helpful to the defense since it would suggest Death to be an appropriate sentence if she was guilty)

Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
I was reading through the case law and there is not a blanket ban upon quoting scripture during closing arguments. So I think if the defense were smart and able to properly argue the case law (I appreciate that this is a tall order given that Jose Baez will probably be performing the closings). Further, it could be effective in swaying her.

All in all, I think that Jose Baez could use biblical references to try and sway, in particular, Juror number 4.

If anyone cares, I have quoted the summaries of relevant cases below:

Quote:
State v. Jordan, 325 S.W.3d 1
Tenn.,2010
Biblical and scriptural references in closing arguments present obvious danger that a sentencing decision may be made, not upon the facts and the law, but on an appeal to the bias or passion of the jury.


Mitchell v. State, 2010 WL 3377698
Ala.Crim.App.,2010
Argument of counsel should not be so restricted as to prevent reference, by way of illustration, to historical facts and public characters, or to principles of divine law or biblical teachings.

Generally, a prosecutor's reference to religion, God, or the Bible is improper if that reference urges the jury to abandon its duty to follow the law or to decide the case on an improper basis.

A prosecutor's reference to God or Biblical figures that is merely descriptive or illustrative is not improper.

Prosecutor's reference to “a day that we should be giving thanks for God's bountiful blessings” merely described the day the murders occurred, Thanksgiving, and therefore did not constitute prosecutorial misconduct in murder prosecution; prosecutor's comment was isolated, and it did not urge the jury to abandon its duty to follow the law, and did not intimate to the jury that the Bible commanded that defendant be put to death.

Miller v. State, 42 So.3d 204
Fla.,2010
References to fact that crime occurred on Easter Sunday were not unduly prejudicial in prosecution for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, burglary of a dwelling with a battery therein, and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon; only references to Easter Sunday were purely factual and probative because they established the circumstances of the witnesses traveling through the neighborhood, and reference enhanced witness' credibility because it oriented them to specific, memorable event, rather than an arbitrary Sunday. West's F.S.A. 90.402, 90.403.


State v. Prado, 181 P.3d 901
Wash.App.Div.3,2008
A prosecutor engages in misconduct when making a closing argument that appeals to jurors' fears and repudiation of criminal groups or invokes racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice as a reason to convict.

Lawrence v. State, 691 So.2d 1068
Fla.,1997
Prosecutor's recounting biblical story during closing argument in resentencing proceeding of capital murder trial in order to describe weighing process jury must employ did not, in context of entire argument, amount to fundamental error and, even if issue had been preserved for appeal, any error was harmless, as it did not taint jury's recommendation; however, Supreme Court cautioned prosecutors that arguments invoking religion can easily cross boundary of proper argument and become prejudicial.



State v. Johnson, 944 A.2d 416
Conn.App.,2008
Religious practice was within the factual context of sexual assault case involving defendant, who was a pastor, and therefore, the prosecutor's mention during closing argument of religiousness or devoutness of victim and her parents, who were members of defendant's congregation, had an evidentiary basis, and prosecutor did not invoke religious figures or make any references to a divinity as a means to inflame the jury or to invoke a higher being to influence their deliberations.


King v. State, 651 S.E.2d 711
Ga.,2007
Prosecutor's comments during closing arguments of felony murder trial involving child victim, in which prosecutor referred to old saying which provided that if a person offended a child, it was better for him “that a millstone were about his neck,” and urged jury to hang that millstone around defendant's neck, were not improper; comments were not only “fleeting,” but the source from which the prosecutor drew the comments was never identified as the Bible or any other religious text, and counsel was permitted to allude such principles of divine law relating to transactions of men as may be appropriate to the case.


Walker v. State, 653 S.E.2d 439
Ga.,2007
Prosecutor's comments during closing argument of guilt phase, that Bible phrase that “the wicked flee when no man pursueth” described defendant, that jurors should not decided to “let the Lord handle it,” and that jury might be “Lord's fisherman to handle” defendant's accountability, did not result in imposition of death penalty through impermissible influence of passion, prejudice, or other arbitrary factor, but merely urged jury to accept its legal duty to pass judgment rather than abdicating that role.


U.S. v. Roach, 502 F.3d 425
C.A.6.Tenn.,2007
In prosecution of two police officers for depriving two Hispanic victims of their civil rights under color of law by stealing money from them during a traffic stop, prosecutor's closing argument comment that the Commandment, “thou shalt not steal” did not say thou shalt not steal from people you know, or from citizens, or from white people, while improper, was not flagrant, and thus, it did not amount to misconduct; prosecutor's comment was made in response to defense counsel's inflammatory argument that Hispanics knew how to work the system, prosecutor's comment was isolated and there was no indication that it misled the jury, and government made no other reference to religion.


Buchanan v. State, 638 S.E.2d 436
Ga.App.,2006
Trial court acted within its discretion in trial for aggravated battery of defendant's father in denying defendant's motion for mistrial after prosecutor referred during closing argument to Biblical commandment to “honor thy father and mother” and included that phrase on a slide in a computerized slide show, where trial court instructed jury that the only law that it could apply was Georgia law.


State v. Call, 508 S.E.2d 496
N.C.,1998
Prosecutor in capital murder case making closing argument could use Bible passage, “the wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion,” as explanation of significance of defendant's flight.


People v. Hill, 952 P.2d 673
Cal.,1998
Prosecutor's asking jury to consider biblical teachings when deliberating is patent misconduct.


Brewer v. State, 704 So.2d 70
Miss.,1997
Counsel may draw upon literature, history, science, religion and philosophy for material for his argument to jury.


Woodall v. State, 730 So.2d 627
Ala.Crim.App.,1997
Argument of counsel should not be so restricted as to prevent reference, by way of illustration, to historical facts and public characters, or to principles of divine law or biblical teachings.


State v. Copeland, 928 S.W.2d 828
Mo.,1996
Prosecutor did not make improper arguments in guilt phase of trial by asking jury to consider what state thought was its most compelling piece of evidence, by arguing that defendant lied to sheriff, by referring to Bible, by summarizing jury instructions, by calling defendant a “nasty-mouth woman,” and by commenting on argument made by defense counsel.


State v. Lundgren, 653 N.E.2d 304
Ohio,1995
Prosecutor's quotation of Biblical passage commanding that false prophets be put to death, during prosecutor's guilt phase closing argument in prosecution of defendant cult leader for kidnapping and murder of a family of five followers, was improper, but defendant failed to object, argument was inconsequential to jury's findings of guilt, and any effect of argument on sentencing could be cured by Supreme Court's independent reassessment of sentence.


Com. v. Cottam, 616 A.2d 988
Pa.Super.,1992
In trial for starvation death of defendants' son and malnutrition of their daughter, district attorney's statement during oral argument that tithing is the putting away of 10% of weekly salary to be given to church every week did not improperly challenge validity and sincerity of defendants' religious beliefs; prosecutor was explaining to jury the concepts to which minister would testify as expert witness.


State v. Coffey, 389 S.E.2d 48
N.C.,1990
Prosecutor's comment that it was “providential” that the police were able to turn up some of the evidence which they collected was not an improper invocation of God.


State v. Artis, 384 S.E.2d 470
N.C.,1989
In argument before jury, counsel for both sides are entitled to argue law and facts in evidence and all reasonable inferences that may be drawn therefrom, however, neither law nor facts in evidence include biblical passages, and strictly speaking, it is improper either to base or color arguments with such extraneous material.


People v. Mohammed, 542 N.Y.S.2d 82
N.Y.App.Div.4.Dept.,1989
Prosecutor's summation improperly impugning defense, commenting on matters not in evidence, suggesting duty of defendant to present evidence, and making inflammatory and irrelevant remarks particularly in reference to defendant's Moslem culture and status as alien did not deprive defendant of fair trial.


State v. Hewett, 376 S.E.2d 467
N.C.App.,1989
It was not inherently improper to allow district attorney to quote from Bible during closing argument.


People v. Harden, 420 N.W.2d 136
Mich.App.,1988
Prosecutor's reference to defendant's fez, during closing argument in murder and robbery prosecution, did not constitute impermissible comment on defendant's Islamic religion; prosecutor commented on fez as suggestion that defendant had stolen Navy good-conduct medal, which was missing from victim's house, for purpose of wearing medal with his religious garb.


People v. Mischley, 417 N.W.2d 537
Mich.App.,1987
Reference by prosecutor in closing argument to biblical quotation that “the wicked flee when no man pursueth” did not constitute prosecutorial misconduct, despite fact that one juror was a pastor; quoted passage did not misstate facts or law, and reference was not used to any prejudicial manner to inflame passions of jury.


Com. v. Kozec, 505 N.E.2d 519
Mass.,1987
A prosecutor should not refer to defendant's failure to testify, misstate evidence or refer to facts not in evidence, interject personal belief on defendant's guilt, play on racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice or on jury's sympathy or emotions, or comment on consequences of verdict. U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 5.


People v. Lyles, 385 N.W.2d 676
Mich.App.,1986
Prosecutor's use of word “providence” in closing argument did not call on jury to convict defendant as a religious duty, but was a general reference to the element of chance involved in the events of the case.


State v. Townsend, 688 S.W.2d 842
Tenn.Crim.App.,1984
Prosecutor's argument with references to religion did not affect results of trial.


Vaughan v. State, 470 N.E.2d 374
Ind.App.4.Dist.,1984
In prosecution for intimidation while armed with a deadly weapon and theft, prosecutor's quote from the Bible, to wit, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” had little or no probable persuasive affect and did not put defendant in a position of grave peril to which he should not have been subjected. IC 35-43-4-2, 35-45-2-1(2) (1982 Ed.).


Johnson v. State, 416 So.2d 383
Miss.,1982
Counsel, in closing argument at punishment stage, may draw upon literature, history, science, religion and philosophy for material for his argument.


State v. Kimball, 424 A.2d 684
Me.,1981
Prosecutor's concluding remark to jury wishing jury a Merry Christmas was not grounds for mistrial.


Mullins v. State, 323 So.2d 109
Ala.Crim.App.,1975
Counsel for defense was properly permitted to read from the Bible in his argument to jury.


State v. Hanson, 176 N.W.2d 607
Minn.,1970
Reference to Fifth Commandment in prosecutor's closing argument was improper, but not reversible error.


Wright v. State, 188 So.2d 272
Ala.,1966
Criminal trials are adversary proceedings, and argument of counsel should not be so restricted as to prevent reference by way of illustration to historical facts, public characters, principles of divine law, or biblical teachings.


Dare v. State, 378 P.2d 339
Okla.Crim.App.,1963
Defense counsel's closing argument in homicide prosecution regarding position of religious denominations on capital punishment was properly excluded as punishment for criminal offense was prescribed by Legislature.


State v. Sinnott, 132 A.2d 298
N.J.,1957
In sodomy prosecution, summation of prosecutor to jury was within the boundaries of fairness, even though it included Biblical references and fictional characters for the purpose of emphasis. N.J.S. 2A:143-2, N.J.S.A.


State v. Tourville, 295 S.W.2d 1
Mo.,1956
Where trial court directed defendant in murder prosecution to put his rosary in his pocket, and thereafter the defendant again displayed his rosary, it was not reversible error for State's counsel to state in the presence of the jury that defendant should put his rosary away. Section 559.020 RSMo 1949, V.A.M.S.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:03 PM
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Just my personal observation, no facts, or anything to back it up...but I don't think JB is the religious type to me. I don't think JA or LDB would ever go that route.

It would be insulting to some jurors IMHO -- it would be insulting to me (as in don't insult me with your religious quotes). What does that have to do with the murder and disposal of precious Caylee Marie Anthony.

That's what I would be thinking, and it would probably alienate me even more (again, if I was on the jury).

If he does, I will be quite suprised.

MOO - please and thanks.

ETA: thanks for pulling up all those quotes. Interesting stuff I hadn't read before. But I still don't think it would be applicable to this case (in light of perjuring Cindy Anthony on the witness stand). ETA again to add -- I'm beginning to think we have less and less to worry about with #4. One of the tweets said she was crossing out a bunch of notes in her notebook today while the SA was degrading Cindy's testimony. My take is she was crossing out everything she took away from Cindy's time on the stand (again, no proof - just an observation). Who knows, maybe #4 will be the foreperson

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Old 07-01-2011, 07:09 PM
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The scriptures could bite them in the proverbial IMO.

Luke 16:10 - "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
The scriptures could bite them in the proverbial IMO.

Luke 16:10 - "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."
True. I am not saying, that I would necessarily agree that the quotes serve for the proposition for which I suggest that JB quote them. All I say is that they could hold a lot of sway for Juror Number 4.

The problem with the quote you give though is it relies upon the Prosecution knowing it and having it bring out in rebuttal. (and if they get into bible-bashing that opens up a whole can of worms).
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by uklaw View Post
True. I am not saying, that I would necessarily agree that the quotes serve for the proposition for which I suggest that JB quote them. All I say is that they could hold a lot of sway for Juror Number 4.

The problem with the quote you give though is it relies upon the Prosecution knowing it and having it bring out in rebuttal. (and if they get into bible-bashing that opens up a whole can of worms).
I wasn't thinking of the Prosecution quoting Luke, I think they will stick to the facts of the case instead of religious argument. Just my impression though so I could be wrong.

I thought more in terms of the religious jurors knowing their scriptures and being disgusted by the attempts to sway their opinion by using self-serving Bible quotes while ignoring other biblical advice such as do not offer false testimony. They could come up with a few crushing rebuttal quotes of their own no doubt.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
I wasn't thinking of the Prosecution quoting Luke, I think they will stick to the facts of the case instead of religious argument. Just my impression though so I could be wrong.

I thought more in terms of the religious jurors knowing their scriptures and being disgusted by the attempts to sway their opinion by using self-serving Bible quotes while ignoring other biblical advice such as do not offer false testimony. They could come up with a few crushing rebuttal quotes of their own no doubt.
Ahh ic.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by uklaw View Post
Like it or lump it this lady will place a lot of sway in the Bible. She doesn't want to judge others due to her religious beliefs, it makes sense that if forced to judge Casey that she will turn to the bible for guidance.

In particular, this is a circumstantial evidence case and there are no witnesses that can say "I saw Casey kill Caylee" or anything similar. Regardless of how one judge's the weight of evidence against Casey, there are simply no witnesses to the death of Caylee Anthony who have testified.
Actually she said"does not like to judge people by what other people say about them. "http://blogs.discovery.com/criminal_...-profiles.html

So no I don't think he will quote the Bible.

And no one has to see or witness anything. circumstantial evidence can be pretty powerful, almost much more effective than witnessing the crime and was and is in this case because Casey pretty much doomed herself by her own actions. Plus she was the last person seen with Caylee, even GA said this on the witness stand.

No one seen Scott Peterson kill his wife and child, yet his actions spoke volumes after the fact. Same with Casey.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:23 PM
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If they do..I pray that the heavens ROAR!
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:24 PM
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I think too much weight is being put on Juror #4. I also think any quoting from the bible done by the defense would be a huge mistake.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:29 PM
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Actually she said"does not like to judge people by what other people say about them. "http://blogs.discovery.com/criminal_...-profiles.html

So no I don't think he will quote the Bible.

And no one has to see or witness anything. circumstantial evidence can be pretty powerful, almost much more effective than witnessing the crime and was and is in this case because Casey pretty much doomed herself by her own actions. Plus she was the last person seen with Caylee, even GA said this on the witness stand.

No one seen Scott Peterson kill his wife and child, yet his actions spoke volumes after the fact. Same with Casey.
Yeah, but what your basically doing is stating what the argument of the case is.

What I am looking at is something a bit more focused and saying, well this women places a lot of reliance on biblical scripture. Will she look at the lack of direct witnesses as being significant if she is referred to scriptural authority which on the face of it requires 2 people to witness a crime (again I am not saying that said authority holds true, but I am focussing on juror number 4)?

The strength or otherwise of circumstantial evidence and what happened in the Scott Peterson case is not really relevant.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:31 PM
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I think too much weight is being put on Juror #4. I also think any quoting from the bible done by the defense would be a huge mistake.
I think the amount of weight you place in juror number 4 is determined by how strong she is in her views. I tend to agree with you to the extent that I think she would easily be swayed by other jurors.

That being said if 1 or 2 other jurors believe that not guilty is the correct verdict then I think it will be harder for her to be swayed.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:31 PM
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I think too much weight is being put on Juror #4. I also think any quoting from the bible done by the defense would be a huge mistake.
And in all seriousness, he'd choose the wrong passage and God would become more obviously the state's witness.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:32 PM
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Or perhaps #4 wanted an excuse not to serve jury duty? When in a drug trial one of the jurors with me said she did not judge but, was sent in anyway. After the trial she was in a hurry to vote guilty because she wanted to bake cookies for her granddaughter today.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
Just my personal observation, no facts, or anything to back it up...but I don't think JB is the religious type to me. I don't think JA or LDB would ever go that route.
Respectfully snipped.

I don't think JB strikes me as the religious type either (although a lot of hispanics are, at least nominally).

That being said, I doubt he would shy away from quoting scriptures if he thought it would help is cause.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:34 PM
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And in all seriousness, he'd choose the wrong passage and God would become more obviously the state's witness.
Couldn't help but laugh!
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:34 PM
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Yeah, but what your basically doing is stating what the argument of the case is.

What I am looking at is something a bit more focused and saying, well this women places a lot of reliance on biblical scripture. Will she look at the lack of direct witnesses as being significant if she is referred to scriptural authority which on the face of it requires 2 people to witness a crime (again I am not saying that said authority holds true, but I am focussing on juror number 4)?

The strength or otherwise of circumstantial evidence and what happened in the Scott Peterson case is not really relevant.
IDK...I voted ICA should get the death penalty...but I for my faith could not vote for it because of the scripture that states you should not put someone to death on the strength of less than two witnesses. So, I am never chosen for duty...they no likey the Shoelady.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:38 PM
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I think the amount of weight you place in juror number 4 is determined by how strong she is in her views. I tend to agree with you to the extent that I think she would easily be swayed by other jurors.

That being said if 1 or 2 other jurors believe that not guilty is the correct verdict then I think it will be harder for her to be swayed.
I don't think we know much about juror #4 at all to figure out much about her (other than her crops in farmville must need watered LOL) they didn't even do the complete voir dire of her... all we know is that she said she had a hard time judging people but upon clarification by hhjp it was determined that she can follow the law.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:42 PM
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IMO, folks can be very religious without living their lives according to the strictures of the Bible--Old or New Testament, King James version or other.

Am not sure that we should be applying Biblical/Deuteronomy standards to a present-day trial, either. Though if a juror does that... well, we might never know if they did or didn't.

And this boils down to the fact that we are making a LOT of assumptions about Juror #4 based on a SMALL amount of evidence.

In general, though, as to the original question, I think the defense would be making a mistake by quoting Scripture in closing.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
The scriptures could bite them in the proverbial IMO.

Luke 16:10 - "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."
I think it would be risky because people who know their scripture can duel with him. People who aren't particularly religious would probably feel manipulated. I don't know the religious makeup of that part of Florida. It may work better in places like the south where I live.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:47 PM
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I don't think we know much about juror #4 at all to figure out much about her (other than her crops in farmville must need watered LOL) they didn't even do the complete voir dire of her... all we know is that she said she had a hard time judging people but upon clarification by hhjp it was determined that she can follow the law.
Not to mention that "don't like to judge" does not mean they don't partake in it.

I "don't like" that my pants are tight right now. Did it stop me from eating too much today?
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:49 PM
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uklaw uklaw is offline
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Originally Posted by stilettos View Post
IDK...I voted ICA should get the death penalty...but I for my faith could not vote for it because of the scripture that states you should not put someone to death on the strength of less than two witnesses. So, I am never chosen for duty...they no likey the Shoelady.
I am not saying what you should or not do on the basis of your own religious beliefs; certainly not in the context of this trial at least.

Just putting it out there as a strategy, with this jury, for this defense team, for this case.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:49 PM
MissSallyAnnie MissSallyAnnie is offline
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Originally Posted by 1tasha View Post
And in all seriousness, he'd choose the wrong passage and God would become more obviously the state's witness.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:42 PM
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Knowing JB, he probably didn't even think of it, but after seeing this thread he will. I know they read here.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:56 PM
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GeekyGirl GeekyGirl is offline
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I know that personally I'd be offended if I were a juror and a lawyer quoted scripture to me, no matter what the passage was, but that's because I really don't like appeals to emotion when discussing things like science and law. They have a tendency to make me examine everything else that person says much more carefully. Hmmm...

Actually, on second thought, yes that would totally work... Definitely. Can't miss with quoting the bible. Heck you should just stand up there and read entire chapters. (Just in case you're reading here JB, I think you should go for it)
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:57 PM
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I think it would be extremely inappropriate and offensive for either side to quote Bible scriptures during closing arguments.

Also, if any of those jurors are like me, appealing to my emotions will turn me off to their "argument" real quick.
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