A Comal County judge 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.
The jury defied God, or at least whoever Judge Robinson was talking to, and convicted Gloria Romero-Perez of “continuous trafficking of a person.” They later sentenced her to 25 years in prison, but by that point Judge Robinson had recused himself.
I… imagine this will trigger some kind of state ethics review. Religion aside, when judges start admitting to being guided by VOICES THAT ONLY THEY CAN HEAR… that’s a good time to reconsider a person’s fitness for the bench.
And, for any wayward monks reading, no, directives from God are not admissible in court. It is the definition of hearsay. It’s a statement, not made by the witness while testifying at the trial, offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. The other side should have been allowed to cross-examine… God… before the judge entered his statements into the record.
However, since the defendant was accused of CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING, I suppose you could argue that God’s missive was a “statement against interest,” and thus eligible for an exception to the hearsay rule.