when it was time for us to start deliberating, we were given very explicit directions on exactly what we were allowed to consider and what we weren't. basically, a jury is told "these are the questions you're supposed to answer, and these are the points of law that you're allowed to consider while you're answering them. don't consider anything else." and we most certainly were not supposed to bring in religious tracts like the bible during our deliberation.
Harlan was sentenced to death in 1995, but defense lawyers learned that five jurors had looked up such Bible verses as "eye for eye, tooth for tooth," copied them and discussed them while deliberating behind closed doors.
as someone commented on dkos, the irony is that 'the jurors used the Bible...but didn't "err on the side of life."' it's interesting that the jurors apparently didn't bother to consult what jesus himself said about capital punishment (and the j-man was very clear about this): let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
naturally, the religious right is up in arms about this. for them (and really, for anyone who uses the term) "judicial activism" means "judges who make decisions we disagree with"... just as in the terri schiavo case, which i intentionally avoided blogging about because you can hear about that travesty everywhere. but let it be said: the radical right thought they really had something by pushing the schiavo issue, but the american people are almost uniformly disgusted by the gop's attempts to politicize this matter, and most people do not want to be trapped in a hospital bed with a good chunk of their brain turned to liquid while a bunch of hypocrites (and a few well-meaning but mistaken people, like her parents) deny them the right to die peacefully.
and then the hypocrites have the gall to sell the mailing list of schiavo supporters, further cheapening the story (as if that's possible) by transforming it into yet another opportunity to collect marketing info. how very christian-like.