A state district judge in Texas, Jack Robison, recently told a courtroom that God told him to intervene in jury deliberations. The judge told the jury to return a not guilty verdict.
The case involved a woman, Gloria Romero-Perez, who was trafficking a teen girl for sex. The girl was her niece and only 15 years old. Romero-Perez was accused of selling the girl for $6,000 to an adult and the girl became pregnant after the encounter.
The judge later apologized to the jury for interrupting them. He told them, “When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it.”
Despite the judge’s wishes, the jury came back with a verdict of guilty. Romero-Perez was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the continuous trafficking of a person. She was acquitted on a separate charge for the sale or purchase of a child.
Knowing he was in the wrong, the judge ended up recusing himself before the sentencing phase of the trial.
There’s a good likelihood that Robison faces an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. This wouldn’t be his first time facing that panel.
In 2011, Robison was disciplined for wrongly imprisoning a man who called him a fool. The man was upset over the judge’s decision in a custody case.
The ethics code for Texas judges says that judges shall “comply with the law and should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”
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The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial but was denied.
Judge Robison has not been answering any further questions on the matter.
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