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catbirdseat

Decision to Free Felon Haunts Jurors

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I saw this story on the front page of todays Post Intelligencer. To summarize, a violent rapist convicted in 1985 was up for parole. A jury was asked to decide on October 2003 if he should be committed under the state Civil Committment Act.

 

The jury's task was to decide whether the man had a greater than 50% chance of reoffending. The man had gotten religion in prison, that is, he converted to the Jehovah's Witness faith. The psychologist testifying for the State said that because of his religion, the man had refused treatment for his aggression towards women. Because of this, he would be expected to be more likely to reoffend. Furthermore, the psychologist testified that the statistics show that religion does not have any significant effect on recidivism. The jurors felt otherwise, and to the surprise of prosecutors, voted to release the man. Within months he was attacking women in the U District, two in an elevator, and one in her Eastside apartment.

 

So here are my questions to you.

 

1) Do you think religion has the power to turn someone away from crime? If so are some religions better than others for this purpose?

 

2) Do you think that the specific teachings of Christianity played a role in the jury's decision? Christianity teaches the sins can be forgiven and some sects seem to emphasize this above living a good and just life.

 

Seattle PI Story

 

I almost forgot the point I really wanted to make, which was this strikes me as similar to the Bush reelection, in which voters allowed religion to cloud their good judgement and acted against their own self-interest.

Edited by catbirdseat

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Oh Jesus Christ.

 

If I weren't an agnostic I'd be praying that the Democratic leadership continues to espouse the frightened-inbred-retards-in-jesusland rationale quite vocally until the next elections roll around.

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1) Do you think religion has the power to turn someone away from crime? If so are some religions better than others for this purpose?

 

2) Do you think that the specific teachings of Christianity played a role in the jury's decision? Christianity teaches the sins can be forgiven and some sects seem to emphasize this above living a good and just life.

 

1) No religion has the power to turn a person away from crime. It might inspire the person to live a better life, but it's up to the person to take that inspiration and stop being an asshat. The religion that would be best for that purpose would be the one that means the most to that person.

 

2) There was probably more to the jury's decision than religion, but this is a perfect story to reduce from full color to black and white for an easy sensational piece on the front page, so it get's whittled down to this. What kind of Crackerjack take on Christianity (or any religion) would push the concept of forgiveness ahead of the concept of good living? D'you have examples?

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CBS, you frame your argument in an unnecessarily partisan way that really misses the point. The real question is this: Does our jury system work? Are average people with no legal training capable of coming up with unbiased, fair, and consistent decisions, or are they too easily swayed by arguments that appeal to their emotions?

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My response is what is the alternative? Judges, that what. Judges are becoming the object of political pressure like never before. Lots of money is being spent on them now at election time. I still believe in the jury system because of a distrust in government. How about that, a liberal who distrusts government?

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I almost forgot the point I really wanted to make, which was this strikes me as similar to the Bush reelection, in which voters allowed religion to cloud their good judgement and acted against their own self-interest.

 

I would like to ask those same Christians you speak of who voted for Bush basing their decision on religion. I would like to ask them this question: "When did Jesus Christ accept the validity of war?"

 

P.S. My sister is one of them...and I am just waiting for the right timing... evils3d.gif

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Could ask that about voting too, eh?

"Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -Winston Churchill

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