A US judge has been reprimanded by the State Commission after it emerged he interrupted a jury to inform them that God had told him that the defendant was innocent. He later apologised but ultimately defended his actions saying “when God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it”. He later recused himself from the trial prior to the sentencing phase but the incident still caught the attention of the press and the government who are considering a full investigation into the judge’s behaviour.
Despite the highly unusual move by the judge, the jury were not swayed and found the defendant guilty of continuous human trafficking, a charge that carries a 25 year prison sentence.
The same judge was previously punished in 2011 after he placed a man in jail for contempt without any hearing or advance notice after the man called him a “fool”. The reprimand stated that the judge had “exceeded the scope of his authority and failed to comply with the law”.
A warning that, it appears, he did not take to heart.