Judges v Satan in bizarre death sentence appeal

Judges v Satan in bizarre death sentence appeal

MUSING aloud, a Texas appeal court judge asked earlier this year (2010) whether Satanism should be considered a religion, because religions revolve around worshipping a higher power.

Said Judge Lawrence Meyers:

Satan’s not an almighty being.

The Devil emerged as a key character in the appeal court hearing of Irving Davis, 27, who wants his death sentence for raping and killing a 15-year-old El Paso girl quashed.

Davis, unlike so many felons who suddenly find Jesus when they are put behind bars, embraced Satan instead.

On death row: Irving Davis

But Davis’ defence lawyer maintains that jurors, who supported his death sentence at an earlier trial, should not have been informed that he had committed himself to Satan.

Ruben Morales, Davis’ lawyer, argued that introducing Satanism in court was an improper attempt to criminalise beliefs that society finds offensive or disagreeable.

The state’s attempt to place (Davis) in a bad light with the jury was nothing less than a ‘witch hunt.’ This is precisely the risk that society runs when it attempts to distinguish between good and bad religions.

The revelation, it is argued, violated Davis’ free exercise of religion and improperly prejudiced jurors against the inmate.

Morales also argued that the information was irrelevant because Davis was not a Satanist when Melissa Medina, 15, was killed, and had never committed a crime or violent act in Satan’s name.

Jurors were shown, over defence objections, Davis’ drawings depicting satanic symbols, books removed from his cell that included The Satanic Bible – (written by the late Anton Szandor LaVey who was, and still is, known as the Father of Modern Satanism) – and a pentagram tattoo on his chest.

Anton Szandor LaVey, author of The Satanic Bible

Prosecutors counter that allegiance to the Church of Satan was relevant information for jurors, who had to determine whether Davis should be put to death as a continuing threat to society.

Davis’ arguments sent two of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judges down rhetorical paths that were more theological than legal.

A second appeal court judge. Michael Keasler, said:

I mean, come on, boil it all down, the Church of Satan? You’ve got to be kidding me as to how that’s good, because Satan himself, at least as far as Christian doctrine is concerned, is the epitome of what evil is. If somebody chooses to align themselves with something like that, it certainly would seem relevant.

But Keassler appears completely unaware of the fact that Christianity owes its very existence to Old Nick.

In the May, 2010, edition of the Freethinker, we carried a piece by the late Neil Blewitt, who pointed out:

Consider the version of the Adam and Eve story in Genesis 2 and 3. If the Devil, in the form of a serpent, had not beguiled Eve, and she, in turn, her husband into eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, they would have retained their primal innocence, and it is likely therefore that the world’s population would have remained at two and there would have been no sin transmitted from the couple to future generations.

And no sin would have meant that there was no necessity for Jesus to come into the world to make atonement and, incidentally, no necessity for the Holy Ghost to sire him – even if the Virgin Mary had miraculously appeared. So there would have been no Christianity, none of the religious wars that followed in its wake, no persecutions, sectarian violence, nor hell and damnation.

The pity is that there would have been only two people to appreciate the situation.

UPDATE (March, 2013): On her blog, Frances Garrood, a British woman who campaigns against the death sentence, and corresponds with death row inmates, wrote of Davis:

He’s been on Death Row for 12 years, in solitary confinement ALL the time, in a metal cell with just a steel sink, loo and bunk. He is incredibly intelligent amd articulate; he paints and writes, when he can get the materials, and reads such books as he can get hold of. He may or may not be guilty of the crime for which he is convicted (many are probably innocent). It’s not my job to judge or condemn him, but to be as much of a friend as I can be to him (I hate the expression pen-friend as it sounds so juvenile somehow).


15 responses to “Judges v Satan in bizarre death sentence appeal”

  1. Broadsword says:

    Satanism is a widely practised religion, especially in the Middle East.
    Many people, such as Richard Reid, are submitting to the death cult in British prisons too:

  2. Russell W says:

    “Satan’s not an almighty being”. FYI Your Honor, neither is ‘God’. The Jews appear to have adopted the concept of the ‘Evil One’ from the Zoroastrians–not a good idea.
    The judicial accommodation of religious beliefs is not acceptable in a secular society,there’s no God or the Devil to force people to commit crimes.

  3. ZombieHunter says:

    If these bampots knew anything about satanism they’d know that lthere is a difference between theistic satanism (Beleiving that there really is a devil and worshop of him) and laveyan satanism which sees the bible as a story and uses satan as a symbol or a metaphor of the ultimate rebel, of course to most bible bashers everything they don’t like is satanism.

    to be honest I don’t see much difference between Anton lavey and the average televangelist in that they were in it for the money however I’ll say one thing for him, he was honest about who he was and what he stood for and beleived in which is a lot more than you can say for the average christian, televangelist or otherwise.

  4. Jordan Bray says:

    Zombiehunter, I could not agree more. How can the Judge make such a decision when they don’t even know what Satanism actually is. The Judge says ‘Satan is not an almighty being’. Well, the kind of Satanism Davis practiced was atheistic, so almighty beings were completely irrelevant.

    What could you expect from a texan court though.

  5. NeoWolfe says:

    One cannot believe in Satan or Jehovah without believing the inspired nature of the bible.

    But, it is of interest to note that given the story line of the myth, Yahweh was the liar, and Satan was the freedom fighter:

    Satan’s supposed lie: 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
    2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” (actually more accurate translations tell it this way: “You must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.”;_ylt=A0Kjq7NnzTNM98AAsBAPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTExN2szY25nBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NwMQR2dGlkAwRsA1dTMQ–?qid=20080915143740AA8kCA4)

    Then, the story goes: “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked.”

    Satan’s campaign promises were fulfilled, ie, in the day of your eating it you will not die (Adam lived 900 years), and that their eyes would be opened. That makes Jehovah the liar and Satan the investigative journalist. Interesting detail, but it’s just fiction.

    The threadhead said: (written by the late Anton Szandor LaVey who was, and still is, known as the Father of Modern Satanism). LaVey had a trendy church in SF, but, his title hopes would have to compete with Aleister Crowley. Published author of “Magick” and “777”, but let’s be real, they are both mental cartoons.


    4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

  6. gsw says:

    Does this mean that if any of the jurors are satanists, they could be influenced against a christian?

    Having read the bible, Lucifer was a lot less evil than Yahweh, ok, so he made Job suffer – but that was instigated by Yahweh who was supposed to be the boss and also good.
    As to persuading Eve, the church has always considered ignorance good and knowledge evil, so they are bound to condemn that act.
    Lucifer also offered power to Jesus, but did not expect him to kill his son for it. So who is the goody here?

    Anyway, Lucifer and Prometheus were similar (same?) and he was on the side of humans – which is more than one can say for the other guy.

    Worshipping anything is a waste of time, but worshipping Lucifer can be justified, whereas worshipping Yahweh is just another form of masochism.

  7. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    I think you’ll find that more people have been killed in the name of god than in the name of the devil, so who’s the goody?

  8. Arnold Lane says:

    Satanism is surely sillier than mainstream Xtianity. Doesn’t Satanism contain an implicit acceptance of Judeo-Christian Metaphysics? A layer of folly built upon a folly. Silly sods.

  9. Barry Duke says:

    @ Graham Martin-Royle: God by far killed more people than Satan ever did – 2,391,421. The Devil, on the other hand, disposed of a mere ten.

    See more details here:

  10. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    @Barry Duke
    Thanks, I’ve bookmarked that for future reference. And those are just the killings mentioned in the bible! I was actually thinking about all those who have died in religious wars, pogroms, jihads etc. All these people died because of belief in a god and were killed in the name of that god. How many wars have been fought specifically in the name of satan? How many people have been killed in his/her name?

  11. Harry says:

    I kinda wonder if he’s not trying to impose a precedent against the use of religion as an excuse.

  12. David MK says:

    Barry Duke,

    Like Graham, I’ve also bookmarked that page. Thanks.

    On reading the post I also mused about the number of killings perpetrated by the “people of the book” in contrast to those done by satanists. Has anybody ever done a rough tally I wonder.

    At a rough guess I’d say it’s more than one million to one in satan’s favour.

  13. CptDzastr says:

    Apparently it’s ok to say Satanism is a bad religion, despite being based on a character out of an old book. But you can’t say Christianity is a bad religion, or Islam, even though they’ve done WAY more heinous stuff than being the chosen religion of at least one bad person. (I’m thinking the Crusades, the Inquisition, jihad, etc.) So, where exactly IS the line? Is it this “Satan is not an almighty being” thing? Maybe I can submit that Yahweh and Allah are not almighty beings, based on the jackholery of some of their followers. Of course, if THAT is the criterion, then all religions are bad religions.

  14. Simon Chase says:

    the only difference between Anton LeVey and Ted Haggard is that LaVey was not a frickin hypocrite. i think that sums up christianity and satanism.

  15. Alea Gray says:

    NeoWolfe, in the passage in Genesis in which God says that “In the day you eat of it you will surely die” any person of intelligence knows that what that means is that they would begin AGING = dying. (Since they were created as ADULT human beings, they wouldn’t grow anymore, they’d age, in other words, begin dying.) And 900 years was considered (after the fall) a SHORT time, from being so close to God and His Eternity.

    Just pointing that out, because so many people misunderstand that.