A Texas state district judge intervened in a child sex trafficking case to tell the jury that God told him that they should deliver a not guilty verdict.
Jack Robison took it upon himself to tell the jury, who were already deliberating in the case.
He interrupted jurors’ deliberations to say that God had been in touch and told him the jury panel should not convict 32-year-old Gloria Elizabeth Romero Perez, who was accused of continuously trafficking her teenage niece from Honduras to the US and then selling her on to a man in Texas for $6,000.
Thankfully the jury ignored the Judge’s divine intervention and pronounced the defendant, guilty.
RT reports: Robison apologised to the jury for interrupting but told them: “When God tells me to do something, I gotta do it,” before recusing himself from the remainder of the proceedings, reports the Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels.
It appears the panel of seven men and five women were less obedient to God, as they convicted Perez anyway, sending her to prison for 25 years for child trafficking. They acquitted her on the second charge of selling a child.
Perez’s defence lawyer Sylvia Cavazo told AP she would be seeking a re-trial. Cavazo said she spoke about the incident with Robison in his chambers afterward, and the judge confirmed that God ‘spoke’ to him and that he did the right thing.
Robison has been reprimanded by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct before. The commission found Robison “exceeded the scope of his authority and failed to comply with the law” for jailing a man for contempt of court after he called the judge a “fool” during a child custody case, according to the Statesman.
Robison is scheduled to return to the bench on January 31.