Judge Claimed Jury Was Wrong—Because God Said So

Judge Jack Robison given public warning in Texas
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2019 10:05 AM CST
Judge Claimed Jury Was Wrong—Because God Said So
The jurors weren't swayed.   (Getty Images/phattaraphum)

Told jurors had found a woman guilty of continuous sex trafficking and the sale or purchase of a child, a Texas judge demanded they keep deliberating because God had assured him the defendant was innocent. Comal County District Court Judge Jack Robison received a public warning after claiming on Jan. 12, 2018, that Gloria Romero Perez's conviction was a miscarriage of justice, reports the San Antonio Express-News. "The judge later apologized to the jury, and said something to the effect of, 'When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,'" officials with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct write in a disciplinary report. It follows 18 complaints. Two jurors, the district attorney's office, and members of the public were among those to protest, per Newsweek.

Jurors refused to change their minds, and Romero Perez was sentenced to 25 years in prison. However, a judge declared a mistrial in October, finding Robison didn't act in accordance with the law. The commission issued a public warning rather than a private one, but it decided not to suspend Robison. The judge had produced letters from two medical professionals claiming the outburst was the result of a since-resolved "episodic medical condition referred to as a 'delirium.'" He also referenced memory lapses and extreme stress linked to a medical condition and the death of a close friend. Still, he denied exhibiting prejudice and said he'd only asked jurors to deliberate for 10 to 15 minutes more "to make certain they were not making a mistake." Romero Perez still awaits retrial. (Read more judge stories.)

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