Abraham Trial

Essay by tesibaby15 March 2004

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The trial that Carol Delaney witnessed has brought about a new light on the interpretation of law and religion. This trial has a basis on not only murder of one's child, but on a possible link to the "Tempting Of Abraham" in the book of Genesis. This trial compares the separation between the evil deed committed and the religious motivation to do so. It raises the question, how can a secular legal system deal with this case? To understand the jury's decision, one must recognize the crime and its purpose.

In the first phase of the trial, the defendant and prosecutor were trying to decide the severity of the crime. They were hung between a decision of either first-degree murder or manslaughter. The grand jury decided that the death penalty was not a factor in this trial. Therefore, the terms for the defendant were either a hefty jail sentence or plausible case to plea insanity. The defense chose the latter, so that they might contend with the possibility of not having to serve in prison and being released every six months. The idea behind why they chose to enter a plea of not guilty is to defend Cristos Valenti's beliefs and to prove them to the court, along with a lighter sentence. Their argument was centered around his following the word and orders of God. Even though in a moral and legal sense he understood his actions to be wrong, he still could not fathom disobeying God's calling. The problem is that the court will not follow a religious notion, as this trial is a direct correlation with the story of Abraham and Isaac. Nearing the end of the discussion, the jury decided on a verdict of first-degree murder. This shocked the defense, because it was clearly a case...