Texas judge censured after telling jurors God told him defendant was innocent

A Texas district court judge was publicly censured after he urged a jury in 2018 that had convicted a woman to continue deliberating because God told him she was innocent, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

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Jack Robison, a judge in the 207th Judicial District in Comal County, reported himself to the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct after his Jan. 12, 2018, outburst, the newspaper reported, citing the commission’s disciplinary document.

Robison was presiding over the trial of Gloria Romero Perez, who was charged with continuous sex trafficking and the sale or purchase of a child, when he made the comments, the Express-News reported.

When jurors reached a guilty verdict, Robison told them their decision was a miscarriage of justice and told them to continue deliberating, the newspaper reported.

"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,'" commission officials wrote in their disciplinary report.

Despite Robison's comments, the jury found Perez guilty and she was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the minimum punishment for the first-degree felony, the Express-News reported. Robison removed himself during the trial's sentencing phase, the Austin American-Statesman reported in September.

The conviction was overturned and a mistrial was declared in October after a judge ruled Robison's rulings were not in accordance with the law and that he made partial comments toward the defendant during the trial, the Express-News reported.

Perez is still awaiting a retrial, the newspaper reported.

In his self-report, Robison told the committee he was experiencing memory lapses at the time and was under extreme stress due to treatment for a medical condition and the death of a close friend.

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