Lawyer for shotgun Christian tells court his client is “delusional.” Well duh.

Back at the start of November I put up an entry about a local man who shot his friend and roommate because the roommate didn’t believe in God. Now the Detroit Free Press has a follow up article on how the shooter’s lawyer has requested a competency hearing for his client:

The attorney for a man accused of murdering a friend and house mate because the victim refused to say he believed in God says his client is “delusional and preoccupied with God.”

Arthur Shelton, 49, of Taylor is unable to assist in defending himself against the charges of first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder with firearms, according to a motion in Shelton’s file in Taylor’s 23rd District Court.

The motion by Shelton’s attorney, Leslie Braverman, asks for a hearing to determine whether Shelton is mentally competent to be tried.

The competency hearing is scheduled for Dec. 27.

Shelton “believes the victim …was the anti-Christ,” Braverman wrote in the motion.

I got the original link from Brent over at Unscrewing The Inscrutable and in his entry he asked the rhetorical question of if anyone doubted that religion makes you crazy. In this case at least it would seem the answer is a resounding yes:

According to Braverman in the competency motion, Shelton “has been unable to communicate with counsel to provide any factual basis, support, description and/or assistance to counsel as to the events related to the charge, incident, including causation and relating to questions by police or statements by the defendant.”

Braverman also wrote: “A defendant is incompetent to stand trial if he is incapable of understanding the proceedings against him or assisting in his defense in a rational manner.”

Considering the irrationality inherent in his belief system to begin with it’s hard to imagine how Shelton could provide much in the way of rational or factual help even if he wasn’t obviously apeshit crazy. Not that there’s isn’t plenty in the Bible that could be used in an attempt to justify Shelton’s actions if you buy into the idea that the Bible is inerrant, but most modern courts have a hard time accepting such justifications as valid.

12 thoughts on “Lawyer for shotgun Christian tells court his client is “delusional.” Well duh.

  1. Not that there’s isn’t plenty in the Bible that could be used in an attempt to justify Shelton’s actions if you buy into the idea that the Bible is inerrant, but most modern courts have a hard time accepting such justifications as valid.

    Ah, Les, but just wait until the neocoms’ wetdream is realized, and Bush has stacked the SCOTUS with fundies…

  2. Not that there’s isn’t plenty in the Bible that could be used in an attempt to justify Shelton’s actions if you buy into the idea that the Bible is inerrant…

    There isn’t anything in the Bible that would justify such an action.  And I do buy into the idea that the Bible is inerrant.

  3. There isn’t anything in the Bible that would justify such an action.

    How about Exodus 22:20?

  4. Exo 22:20 Death is the punishment for offering sacrifices to any god except me.

    Heb 10:30 We know that God has said he will punish and take revenge. We also know that the Scriptures say the Lord will judge his people.

    God does not break the laws of nations to deal punishment.

  5. God does not break the laws of nations to deal punishment.

    I’d be willing to bet that God broke a few Egyptian laws with all those plagues He afflicted them with.

  6. Originally posted by zilch:
    I’d be willing to bet that God broke a few Egyptian laws with all those plagues He afflicted them with.

    Sorry I wasn’t clear enough about how that worked.  Everything is first subject to God’s law and then to the laws of the nation.  As long as a nations laws or practices don’t conflict with God’s law things are cool.  Sometimes God uses other pagan nations to punish Israel like Babylon and Egypt.  When God is punishing Israel the people eventually figure out what went wrong, repent and are delivered, often to the destruction of the punisher.  A more modern day example would be the strict control some nations put on the spread of Christianity.  God’s law says, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.(Mark 16:15)”  Missionaries must follow God’s law before the laws of the land.  Though they break the nation’s laws on spreading Christianity, the nation first broke God’s laws.

    Nations like Babylon and Egypt are the nation’s that aren’t being fair in the first place.  God will never have gripes with a nation like the one described in Romans 13:3-5.  “For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil. Would you like to be unafraid of those in authority? Then do what is good, and they will praise you, because they are God’s servants working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of them, because their power to punish is real. They are God’s servants and carry out God’s punishment on those who do evil. For this reason you must obey the authorities—-not just because of God’s punishment, but also as a matter of conscience.”

  7. THEOCRAT said: “Sorry I wasn’t clear enough about how that worked”…(blah, blah, blah)

    You’ve set yourself up as an authority on the mind and practices of God. Do kings and presidents contact you often for guidance?

  8. I do not consider myself an authority on the mind and practices of God.  I can do little more than give scripture and my interpretation of it.  Though if you would like more scripture to back up my interpretation I will be more than happy to oblige.

    Romans 2:1-16 Do you, my friend, pass judgment on others? You have no excuse at all, whoever you are. For when you judge others and then do the same things which they do, you condemn yourself.  (2)  We know that God is right when he judges the people who do such things as these.  (3)  But you, my friend, do those very things for which you pass judgment on others! Do you think you will escape God’s judgment?  (4)  Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent.  (5)  But you have a hard and stubborn heart, and so you are making your own punishment even greater on the Day when God’s anger and righteous judgments will be revealed.  (6)  For God will reward each of us according to what we have done.  (7)  Some people keep on doing good, and seek glory, honor, and immortal life; to them God will give eternal life.  (8)  Other people are selfish and reject what is right, in order to follow what is wrong; on them God will pour out his anger and fury.  (9)  There will be suffering and pain for all those who do what is evil, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles.  (10)  But God will give glory, honor, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles.  (11)  For God judges everyone by the same standard.  (12)  The Gentiles do not have the Law of Moses; they sin and are lost apart from the Law. The Jews have the Law; they sin and are judged by the Law.  (13)  For it is not by hearing the Law that people are put right with God, but by doing what the Law commands.  (14)  The Gentiles do not have the Law; but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the Law.  (15)  Their conduct shows that what the Law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them.  (16)  And so, according to the Good News I preach, this is how it will be on that Day when God through Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all.

  9. Though if you would like more scripture to back up my interpretation I will be more than happy to oblige.

    I mean this in the nicest possible way, but the obvious problem with the argument from scripture is that it doesn’t carry any weight with atheists.

  10. <blockquote>I mean this in the nicest possible way, but the obvious problem with the argument from scripture is that it doesn’t carry any weight with atheists.And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    Doggie church!  Unfortunately they don’t tithe so they’re hell-bound anyway.

  11. Originally posted by deadscot:
    That’s alright, about 95% of it doesn’t carry much weight with Christians either.

    As unfortunate and true as that might be it doesn’t change the message of the Bible.  I know atheists give no credence to the Bible, but how else am I supposed to defend against statements like what zilch made?

    Originally posted by deadscot:
    Unfortunately they don’t tithe so they’re hell-bound anyway.

    Nothing in the Bible says you get to heaven by tithing.  Now would you like me to back that up with scripture as well?

  12. Unfortunately they don’t tithe so they’re hell-bound anyway.

    Oh, no! I knew I forgot something I had to do before I die!

    Nothing in the Bible says you get to heaven by tithing.

    Whew.  That’s a relief.

    Theo, as elwed said:

    the obvious problem with the argument from scripture is that it doesn’t carry any weight with atheists.

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