In Texas, Comal County Judge Jack Robison tried to convince a jury that a defendant was not guilty because God told him so.
By invoking an imaginary conversation with an imaginary God, Judge Robison was trying to “sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.”
A state district judge in Comal County said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.
Judge Jack Robison apologized to jurors for the interruption, but defended his actions by telling them “when God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,” according to the Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels.
However, despite the judge’s declaration on behalf of God, the jury disagreed with both God and the judge, and found the defendant guilty. The Statesman reports:
The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison. They found her not guilty of a separate charge of sale or purchase of a child.
The panel of seven men and five women took just a couple of hours to find that enough evidence existed to convict 32-year-old Gloria Elizabeth Romero Perez on one count of continuous traffic of a person. They acquitted her on a second charge, sale or purchase of a child.
The Herald-Zeitung reported that Robison recused himself before the trial’s sentencing phase and was replaced by Judge Gary Steele. The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial, but was denied.
In 2011, the commission slapped Robison with a private reprimand for improperly jailing a Caldwell County grandfather who had called him a fool for a ruling Robison made in a child custody case involving the man’s granddaughter.
The reprimand, the commission’s harshest form of rebuke, said Robison “exceeded the scope of his authority and failed to comply with the law” by jailing the man for contempt of court without a hearing or advance notice of the charge.
The good news: The jury dismissed the judge’s special pleading on behalf of God.
The bad news: Judge Robison believes that God is talking to him, and he is also a working judge in the state of Texas.
Is this what society has devolved into? Let the jury decide the case, and thankfully they went against the judge’s recommendations and tampering.