Friday, September 22, 2006

Bible Historically Valid?

I just saw this in the Sacramento Bee this morning:

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted Thursday to reweigh its earlier decision that jurors may consider biblical passages on vengeance during death-penalty deliberations.

I started thinking, "Well, that's good, biblical passages on vengeance should not be introduced as "evidence" in trials", but then got to this bit of irony:

Although jurors are forbidden to base their decisions on facts not presented in the courtroom, the appellate panel said the passages were "not, in fact, facts at all."

If I'm reading this correctly, the original appellate decision was that it would be OK to introduce bible passages because, after all, bible passages "are not facts at all" and jurors can't use them to reach a decision. Am I missing something, or did the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals actually rule on the historical validity of the Bible?

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