DENVER -- Colorado's Supreme Court has thrown out a convicted killer's death sentence because jurors consulted the Bible during deliberations.
The court said the Bible passages, including the verse that commands "eye for eye, tooth for tooth," could influence a typical juror to vote for death instead of life imprisonment.
The juror who brought the Bible into the room said she did so because one juror said he was a Christian and he was unsure what the Bible said about the death penalty. So, she said, the next day she brought a Bible so that he would know for sure what the book said.
The justices ordered Robert Harlan to serve life in prison without parole.
Jurors had sentenced Harlan to die for raping and murdering a cocktail waitress in 1994. Defense attorneys challenged the sentence after discovering five jurors had looked up Bible verses, copied some of them down and then talked about them behind closed doors.
Gov. Bill Owens said the ruling was "demeaning to people of faith and prevents justice from being served."