Death Sentence Reversed Because Prosecutor Quoted Bible

"For all they who take the sword shall die by the sword." Assistant Clayton County prosecutor Brandon Hornsby quoted Matthew 26:52 in a case where a man was found guilty of literally killing his victim by the sword. He also appealed to the book of Romans and other biblical references to boost his case "that society must deter criminals" with the death penalty. The Supreme Court of Georgia voted 6-1 to uphold the murder conviction, but not the death penalty. "Biblical references inject the often irrelevant and inflammatory issue of religion into the sentencing process and improperly appeal to the religious beliefs of jurors in their decision on whether a person should live or die," Justice Norman S. Fletcher wrote for the majority. A summary of the court's opinion is available at the court's Web site.

Indiana Will Post Ten Commandments

On Tuesday, Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon signed legislation allowing government institutions, including schools, to post the 10 Commandments if they are displayed "with other historical documents." The Indiana Civil Liberties Union is ready to sue at the first posting.

Florida's school vouchers ruled unconstitutional

In a few months, all 2 million of Florida's public school students would have been eligible for private school vouchers (see our July 12, 1999 story on the Florida vouchers). Circuit Judge L. Ralph Smith Jr.'s ruling is the latest in a series of ups and downs for vouchers (see related stories by the Associated Press and USA Today).

Bob Jones University's comments about Catholic and Mormon 'cults' no longer on Web site

The Associated Press report implies that the comment by BJU President Bob Jones III ("The diminution of evangelistic ...

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