HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Religion (Group) » Did judge insert his reli...

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 06:56 PM

Did judge insert his religious views into case? Supreme Court refuses appeal.

A North Carolina judge quoted Scripture that refers to the Lordís 'vengeance' in sentencing three men to de facto life prison terms for a robbery that netted less than $3,000. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case Tuesday.

By Warren Richey, Staff writer / January 22, 2013

The US Supreme Court declined on Tuesday to hear an appeal by three young North Carolina men who claim a judge inserted his personal religious views into their case by sentencing them to de facto life prison terms for a robbery that netted less than $3,000.

The justices dismissed the appeal without comment.

What raised the judgeís ire at the sentencing was the fact that the three men chose as their target an ongoing Sunday service at the Ridgeview Presbyterian Church in Bakersville.

The men entered the church wearing ski masks, and they were armed with two guns and a roll of duct tape. Their loot included money, cellphones, keys, and other personal property taken from the worshipers. They even cleaned out that morningís collection plate.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2013/0122/Did-judge-insert-his-religious-views-into-case-Supreme-Court-refuses-appeal

The Fourth Circuit decision now stands.

http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/117389.P.pdf

29 replies, 2103 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Did judge insert his religious views into case? Supreme Court refuses appeal. (Original post)
rug Jan 2013 OP
cbayer Jan 2013 #1
rug Jan 2013 #2
TheMadMonk Jan 2013 #5
rug Jan 2013 #6
cbayer Jan 2013 #7
rug Jan 2013 #8
kwassa Jan 2013 #9
rug Jan 2013 #10
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #3
okasha Jan 2013 #15
Fortinbras Armstrong Jan 2013 #21
cbayer Jan 2013 #22
Phillip McCleod Jan 2013 #26
okasha Jan 2013 #28
Turbineguy Jan 2013 #4
GeorgeGist Jan 2013 #11
rug Jan 2013 #12
cbayer Jan 2013 #13
skepticscott Jan 2013 #14
white_wolf Jan 2013 #16
okasha Jan 2013 #29
Adsos Letter Jan 2013 #17
cbayer Jan 2013 #18
Adsos Letter Jan 2013 #19
cbayer Jan 2013 #20
Adsos Letter Jan 2013 #23
cbayer Jan 2013 #24
Adsos Letter Jan 2013 #25
cbayer Jan 2013 #27

Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:01 PM

1. While I think the judge should have left religion out of it, I think

what these guys did was despicable. Technically, they are the ones that brought religion into the mix to begin with, so I can see why their appeals are being dismissed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:08 PM

2. The Supreme Court accepted the Fourth Circuit's rationale.

Petitioners appeal from the district courtís denial of habeascorpus relief. They contend that, at their sentencing for armed robbery of the Sunday worship services at a North Carolina church, the state trial judge impermissibly made references to religion, thereby violating their rights to due process. But the defendantsí choice to target a church during weekly services imbued their crime with an undeniably religious character. Crimes of this nature carry special hazards for the freedom ofall faiths to worship undisturbed. Far from being "an unreasonableapplication of clearly established Federal law," 28U.S.C. ß 2254(d), the trial judgeís comments reflected the distinctive harms to the community of the particular crime thatthe defendants chose to commit. We therefore affirm the denial of the petition.


Still, his comments were way over the line.

I mean you didnít just steal money from people. You took Godís money. You took the Lordís money and those of us that believe that there is an Almighty and that there is a being that created this world to go in and then steal money that is being tendered by people for the furtherance of an earthly kingdom is just outrageous. . . .

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:25 PM

5. Since when did thieves become agents of the state?

 

Unless there is evidence of a specific hate crime involved, the location should be irrelevant. Should be treated no differently than the same crime in a restaurant or a private backyard.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:28 PM

6. It looks like they were charged with ordinary state felonies.

On July 22, 2008, Josiah and Andrew Deyton pleaded guilty to eleven counts of armed robbery and one count of
conspiracy to commit armed robbery in the Superior Court of Mitchell County.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:31 PM

7. Apparently he said that he was just repeating what members of the congregation

said to him. Still, I agree, his comments were out of line.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:34 PM

8. He did and then he added his own.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:35 PM

9. Why am I visualizing Samuel L. Jackson in "Pulp Fiction" on this vengence quote?

with large gun in hand.

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080327131829AA9GnaE

Jules: There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you
."

and Samuel is actually quoting a mishmash of different biblical sayings.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kwassa (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:36 PM

10. Lol, great visual.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:20 PM

3. The judge should be seriously reprimanded/censured. But the perps shouldn't get a pass.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:18 PM

15. Agree.

The judge should be invited to retire---waaay out of line. Eleven counts of armed robbery, on the other hand, should draw a life sentence. Thats ten too many for leniency.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to okasha (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:38 PM

21. I believe that the judge's remarks were quite appropriate

I realize that atheists tend to get all pissy when a believer refers to his religion in public. They should stop their constant whining about it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:42 PM

22. I don't think a judge should insert his religious beliefs into his findings or sentence.

This is more than just referring to his religion in public. It is insertion of his religion into secular matters.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 08:01 AM

26. who said anything about atheists until now?

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:03 PM

28. Some do.

However, there's "public," and then there's public.

The judge would have been within his rights to make these remarks in, say, a public place such as a restaurant. Or he might appropriately have made them in a talk to his Rotary club.

In a court, at the bench, the judge represents the power of the state. In that setting, there's no question that he was out of line and endorsing a religious viewpoint.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:21 PM

4. If nothing else,

these three are too stupid to function in a modern society. So in this case jail protects them and gives them 3 squares and a flop.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:01 PM

11. Life?

That's fucked up. Not justice.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:04 PM

12. Yup, for all practical purposes.

ten consecutive presumptive-range sentences of 64 to 86 months

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:13 PM

13. They went into a church and threatened people with loaded guns.

What do you think they should get?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:22 PM

14. Uh, does LESS

than if they had actually, you know, shot people, or killed them, make sense? Or is proportion a silly notion?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:13 AM

16. Life?! For this. That is bullshit.

The goal of the justice system should be rehabilitation not vengeance. Seriously, less than 3,000 dollars were stolen. How much has Wall Street stolen in the past year alone?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to white_wolf (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:08 PM

29. How many counts of armed robbery are you willing to tolerate?

The perpetrators threatened the lives of the entire congregation in general and at least eleven in particular. The sentence has nothing to do with the amount stolen. It has to do with the potential lethal harm to the victims.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:43 PM

17. Hmmm...I am in no sense an attorney...

I don't play one on TV, and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night; however, this bothers me:

I think it was very appropriate what one person
wrote that coming in Godís house using God as a
curse and to make people give up their possessions
and taking Godís money and threatening Godís people
, I canít imagine how evil these men are to have
done this. That is the feeling of one person and I
hope you realize thatís an opinion that is or a feeling
that is justified. I mean you didnít just steal money
from people. You took Godís money. You took the
Lordís money and those of us that believe that there
is an Almighty and that there is a being that created
this world to go in and then steal money that is being
tendered by people for the furtherance of an earthly
kingdom is just outrageous. . . .

Gentlemen, this is just something that canít be tolerated and your attorneys have all asked for leniency
and mercy but there are times when you have to kind
of draw the line and you have to say that there are

4 DEYTON v. KELLER

some things that just canít be tolerated by society. I
mean you canít just go in a church armed and tie
people up or hold them at gunpoint, threaten to kill
them and rob the collection plate and rob them while
they are in the worship service and expect that the
law is not going to come down just about as strongly
as it can on you. There is scripture that says "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord" but every now and
then I think the judicial system has to contribute
what it can.

http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/117389.P.pdf


I don't fault the judge for taking a harsh stance toward the secular aspects of the crime (not sure that's the best way to characterize it) but I do question the religious aspect. Is it simply the expectation of security found in a church that is at issue here? Is that greater than the expectation of security in one's home, a hospital, a school, etc.? Would the sentencing be as harsh for crimes committed in those type of environments? Perhaps, but would the rationale be a specifically religious one?

If there are "some things that just canít be tolerated by society" wouldn't that be the crime of robbery, threat of violence, etc., and not the taking of "God's money?" Why should there be a harsher sentencing for a crime where the victim is "in the worship service," as opposed to one where the victim is in bed asleep, or sitting on the john, or opening Christmas gifts with the family? Why is taking money from a collection plate, money "that is being tendered by people for the furtherance of an earthly kingdom" a greater crime than taking my rent and grocery money from my dresser drawer?

I don't know...I'm obviously not versed in the law, but this judge's reasons for the harsh sentencing trouble me. It sounds to me like he is in agreement with the religious nature of the outrage expressed by the parishioners, and it forms some of the basis for his sentencing.

Obviously, The Court disagrees with me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:49 PM

18. You make really good points.

I guess I would look at it like I look at the protections we have for some groups right here on DU.

In some cases, there is, perhaps, a higher expectation of safety. I would say schools are the top ones, but would also propose that there may be others - churches, hospitals, senior citizen centers, funeral homes. Perhaps the tie that binds them is that these are place where people may make themselves more vulnerable and perhaps churches shouldn't be included in that group, but I'm not sure.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:56 PM

19. I don't think I have a problem with the vulnerability rationale for harsher sentencing

(not sure; I'm still thinking this through, and will continue to do so when I go out to clean the garage this afternoon).

I'm pretty certain I have a problem with the religious component in the sentencing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 03:58 PM

20. I share your objection to the language used by the judge, but not convinced

that it changed the sentencing. The charges were quite serious and multiple.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:49 PM

23. True. It did give me pause to consider how often unspoken considerations might inform

It did give me pause to consider how often unspoken considerations inform grounds for judicial decisions. The judge spoke his mind, but what if he hadn't?

I'd be curious to know if there is some typical sentence for similar incidents minus the religious component.

On an absolutely unrelated point: I almost finished emptying my garage today (an ongoing project). I had 59 gallons of old latex paint, and 19 gallons of old alkyd paint in there. Thank heavens for the paint take-back program California paint shops currently have going.

And who on earth keeps 4 gallons of various crackle glazes on hand?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:57 PM

24. Ah, you are a hoarder, eh?

I got over all that when I moved on to a very small space, though I am still *training* by husband.

Our general rule is that nothing comes in unless something goes out, but that doesn't always work.

Good for you for taking the paint into the take-back program.

Good luck completing the task. I walked away from a 2400 square foot house with a suitcase, my art and my photographs. It felt great!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:12 PM

25. I was a painter for 30+ years, and I'm currently remodeling this place.

I retired 7 years ago, and the remodel is forcing me to finally pare things down around here. My wife and I are committed to simplifying things now that both daughters are launched on the course of independent lives.

One of the pleasant results of remodeling, as far as the garage is concerned, is that brand new pantries and a dedicated wood shop area are emerging from the wreckage.

I am envious of your boat living arrangements. I'd be quite satisfied with a nicely appointed RV, but the wife looks at me askance whenever I mention it. Perhaps in another 10 years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:42 AM

27. I also began to change things up when the kids were relatively safely off

on their own. One of they joys of the boat is that they can come visit, but there is no possibility of any of them moving in, lol.

I think an RV would be great at some point. The problem for me would be the fuel costs. Ours are currently very, very low. We have seen a few RV's that run on vegetable oil and are quite small, though.

Enjoy your projects, Adsos Letter!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread