Quoting the Bible: The Use of Religious References in Judicial Decision-Making

New York City Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 31, 2005

62 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2006

See all articles by Sanja Zgonjanin

Sanja Zgonjanin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Responding to the argument that explicit religious references are rare or absent from judicial opinions, this article demonstrates that judges' personal religious beliefs and religious education often find a place in their decisions. It discusses: (a) the judicial use of the Bible in criminal sentencing; (b) the ways in which the courts undermine the religious character of biblical quotations; and (c) the various purposes for which courts use biblical quotations. The article includes a case study of judicial use of biblical passages Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 and considers the judicial use of religious references other than the Bible. It concludes that the use of religious references in judicial decision-making should be prohibited.

Keywords: religious references, Bible, judicial decision-making, judicial opinions, Bible quotations, Bible citations, biblical passages, prosecutors and the Bible, jury and the Bible, judges and the Bible, prosecutorial misconduct, judicial misconduct, jury misconduct

Suggested Citation

Zgonjanin, Sanja, Quoting the Bible: The Use of Religious References in Judicial Decision-Making. New York City Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 31, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=952690

Sanja Zgonjanin (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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