Back in the 1990s, Khristian Oliver (that’s an interesting name) was robbing a man’s home. That man had a rifle to defend his home from robbers, but Khristian took the rifle from him, shot him in the face, and then used the rifle to beat him to death. In this way, the murdered man became one more example of how useful it is to own guns to defend yourself.
But that’s not the interesting part of this story.
The interesting part of this story is that when Oliver was sentenced to death, in 1999, the jury consulted with the bible do help them come to a decision.
…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.”
Oliver will be executed in about 15 days from now unless legal action being taken now to block his killing by the state of Texas is effective.
Previously, a Colorado death sentence was overturned because the jurors had used the Bible to determine that sentence. An earlier appeal in Oliver’s case using a similar argument was rejected by a Texas appeals court, despite the obvious violation of Church-State separation. But in Texas, nobody really cares bout the law. They just care about Justice. Justice Texas Style.
A federal appeals court upheld that the Bible should not have been used in Oliver’s case, but there was no clear evidence that the bible’s use influenced the jurors’ decision. The US Supreme Court has refused to hear the case. Amnesty International is now appealing to the state to commute the sentence.
Of course, since this is Texas, Oliver will die. I wonder if he isn’t really going to die because he killed a man. I wonder if he’s going to die because he made a gun owner look bad.