Witness juror’s actions branded “disgraceful” after she forces mistrial over her beliefs
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A trial for the manslaughter of Adrian Morris has been tossed after a Witness juror decided to withdraw

A trial for the manslaughter of Adrian Morris has been tossed after a Witness juror decided to withdraw

News has emerged within the last week of a judge in Maryland being forced to toss out a manslaughter trial after a Witness juror declared she could no longer participate due to her religious beliefs.

Officer Adrian Morris (pictured) was killed on August 20, 2012, after his cruiser crashed while chasing the defendant, 24-year-old Kevon Neal, following an attempted break-in at a gas station.

The court had already heard three days of testimony when the juror sent a note to Circuit Court Judge Michael R. Pearson at about 1am declaring that her religious beliefs did not allow her to “sit in judgment of another human being.”

According to the Prince George’s State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, the juror told the judge that “she didn’t have a dog in this fight,” that she wasn’t sure whether there was enough evidence, and she didn’t want to be involved. She is also said to have explained that she didn’t alert the court sooner because she needed to “do research about her beliefs to discover what her beliefs are.”

“I think this was disgraceful on the part of this juror,” Alsobrooks told the Washington Post. “We expended tremendous resources presenting this case.”

The case will now have to be retried, with fresh dates yet to be set. The unnamed juror will also need to appear before the judge at a hearing on February 24, and will be found in contempt of court unless she can prove there was no deliberate attempt to be uncooperative.

In addition to the waste of resources, the mistrial will also prolong the anguish of Officer Morris’ family, who were in attendance throughout the proceedings.

“It’s been a painful three days, not only for the police department but also for Adrian’s family,” Police Chief Mark Magaw commented, before adding that if a retrial “is what we need to do to uphold his memory and honor him, that’s what we’ll do.”

Unable to think for herself

Three alternative jurors are said to have been released before the proceedings began, and yet the Witness juror’s note suggests she was unable to let any one of these stand in for her. Why? Because she was uncertain at that stage of precisely what her beliefs were.

Only after days of research, presumably in Watchtower publications, was this woman able to figure out her own beliefs, and conclude that these required her to sabotage a manslaughter trial at considerable public expense, causing added trauma to the family of the young man who was killed.

This should tell us everything we need to know about what it means to be a Jehovah’s Witness. The Governing Body now micromanages the lives of Witnesses to such an extent that even a call to jury duty prompts individuals such as this woman to do “research” – in other words, to seek the permission of Watchtower as to whether they can get involved or not.

It cannot be known for sure, but likely the woman will have consulted the 1997 Questions From Readers article, entitled “What should a Christian do when called for jury duty?” It reads, in part…

“What if a Christian does not feel that his conscience permits him to serve on a particular jury? The Bible does not mention jury duty, so he cannot say, ‘It is against my religion to serve on any jury.’ Depending on the case, he might state that serving on the jury for a particular case is against his personal conscience. That might be so if a case involves sexual immorality, abortion, manslaughter, or another issue on which his thinking is shaped by Bible knowledge, not by mere secular law. In reality, though, it is quite possible that the trial he is selected for does not involve such issues.

A mature Christian would also reflect on whether he would share any responsibility for the sentence rendered by judges. (Compare Genesis 39:17-20; 1 Timothy 5:22.) If a guilty verdict is in error and the death penalty is imposed, would a Christian on the jury share bloodguilt? (Exodus 22:2; Deuteronomy 21:8; 22:8; Jeremiah 2:34; Matthew 23:35; Acts 18:6) At Jesus’ trial Pilate wanted to be ‘innocent of the blood of this man.’ The Jews readily said: ‘His blood come upon us and upon our children.’—Matthew 27:24, 25.” (w97 4/1 p.27)

Considering Watchtower’s admission that “the Bible does not mention jury duty,” the writers of the above article nevertheless find an impressive number of scriptures with which to bombard the reader.

It would come as no surprise to me if certain more weak-minded Witnesses decided to take the easy option by bailing out of jury duty just to be on the safe side, especially if it is absurdly suggested that a juror might “share any responsibility for the sentence rendered by judges.”

And so we find that the Governing Body’s constant tinkering not only robs Witnesses of the ability to think for themselves. In this case, it also impacts on a grieving family of non-Witnesses who must suffer the anguish of a retrial that should never have been necessary.

 

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51 Responses to Witness juror’s actions branded “disgraceful” after she forces mistrial over her beliefs

  1. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    Dr. Cecil Scott, the Cult is a subtle system of modern slavery hidden behind Bible and GB publication pages! Hidden in the GB’s thinking!

    *** w05 3/15 pp. 15-16 par. 2 “You Were Bought With a Price” ***
    Although slavery also existed in ancient Israel, the Mosaic Law ensured that Hebrew slaves received protection [...] the regulations concerning the treatment of slaves were so fair and humane that the Law of Moses made the following provision: “If the slave should insistently say, ‘I really love my master, my wife and my sons; I do not want to go out as one set free,’ then his master must bring him near to the true God and must bring him up against the door or the doorpost; and his master must pierce his ear through with an awl, and he must be his slave to time indefinite.”—Exodus 21:2-6; Leviticus 25:42, 43; Deuteronomy 15:12-18.

    Read the whole article on this page: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2005204#h=0:0-7:84

    You would cry if you saw the [Picture on page 16, 17] interpreted “The provision of voluntary slavery in Israel was a foregleam of Christian servitude” available in the printed publication!!

  2. LAC says:

    Being that this is a conscience decision why couldn’t she have looked up the information when she got the letter in the mail ordering her to show up for jury duty selection? She would have had plenty of time to research and formulate a reason why she could not sit on the jury. This is so typical of JW’s but now I understand why so many of them make such stupid decisions it is because they really don’t know WHAT or HOW to think! When REAL LIFE hits them in the face they just don’t know what to do! How sad!

  3. LAC says:

    OMG! This is so true! That’s why unless your on your death bed you are expected to go in service and attend all the meetings as well as clean the KH and go to all their assemblies, conventions, and the Memorial. Never mind that you have to work full-time because WT wants you to work part-time in some menial job that is suppose to miraculously pay you enough to live off of, take care of your family, house them, clothe them and provide health insurance, life insurance etc. You bet you are a slave. What intrigues me about reading the Bible is that Jesus and the Apostles went out in service. Paul was a tent maker and he preached to those he dealt with during his job yet the GB never goes out in service!

  4. Conan71 says:

    Well said. Having served on jury duty you have ample time to express yourself as to why you are not able to serve in that capacity . It smells of someone being more than willing to step in and be someone else’s conscious . She then asked an elder who probably told her how serious it would be to stumble one in the congregation . But it’s your choice….right.

  5. Magusknight1974 says:

    I served on a jury and they ask clearly many times if you have anything that would hold you back from being fair and non biased. Clearly this individual has no sense of self or respect for the law. I hope they face time in jail to reflect on the fact we all have to abide by the law regardless of religious beliefs. If I ever must ask someone else what I believe in and stand for then I am not my own individual but a puppet of another. I am proud to have found myself strong to my beliefs finding my party guilty on all counts. It is clearly ironic a religion that wishes to be no part of the world still clearly judges others as harshly as the world does today. Jehovah is clearly no part of this organization but may still love selected members still involved today. The separation of the sheep and goats although symbolic may soon occur within this organization but not without is shedding of blood. I pray the innocent ones survive this coming transition as this group is dissolved in the coming years. All cults in some form have their end and my hope is that our Grand Master Creator closes this group down for good. I have many family members lost in this religion but with all my wisdom of the real truth it cannot penetrate the darkness of the lies the cling too as members. If I offend anyone that is not my clear intention but to state my own view on my personal life view or experiences.

  6. Roger M. Woodbury says:

    @JB & @ jbob: When I was in college a long time ago, I studied comparative religions as a part of my undergraduate studies. It was then I learned that if I “belonged” to any particular means of religious expression, it was as a “Deist”.
    While still in high school I had been totally disillusioned by the deliberately political acts of the youth minister against me, and from that point on, never returned to an organized religious organization except as a visitor. Now, plus 50 years beyond that time I find no reason to be otherwise, not JW nor any other religious organization that after all, is defined and run by other humans.

    Now my wife’s upbringing was totally different from mine. Her father was a career military officer who traveled a great deal during her early years. Her mother was psychotic who deteriorated as my wife grew through her
    primary years. Her parents eventually separated and her mother made every effort at denigrating her ex-husband and made every effort to make sure he never had any contact with his daughter. At some point around puberty, my wife met the JWs at the doorstep of her mother’s house. She began to study with them from that time forward. They didn’t “seduce” her away from her mother, didn’t overtly “recruit” her, but the teachings of the Bible from their viewpoint were preferable and more meaningful to her than those of her mother’s rigid Southern Baptist approach. Eventually, around her twelfth year, the abusiveness of her mother drove her out of the house and she took refuge in a non-JW church where she was discovered by the minister. He sent her to an uncle in the same state, who happened to be a lawyer, and he arranged for my wife to be reunited with her father in the northeast where he was then stationed. I met her the year afterward and her father was finally able to win custody of the then, nearly fifteen year girl. Now, my wife was an “early bloomer” and at fifteen years old she looked twenty-two, which is one of the neat tricks Jehovah used to SEDUCE me! I was a year older and because she was so different than all the other “nice” New England girls I knew, I simply had to have her. Thirty years and a lifetime later, we reconnected, which is an entirely different tale which is not relevant here. Her relationship with the JW’s is to reinforce her relationship with Jehovah. Yes, she occasionally goes out in service and due to her back condition, attends about one in four meetings and only part of any convention or longer “ritual” because she cannot sit for long periods on hard chairs. Her dedication to the organization is different from her dedication to God. I respect both and as I have said her previously, it is my obligation as a US citizen to do that, and NOT to interfere. I have taken this opportunity to approach the JW’s with an open mind and to learn the ups and downs of the religion. I despise and condemn their hypocricies but embrace the genuineness of many of the rank and file’s simple belief in God and their willingness to be “good people” on this earth. But at the end of the day, the organization is filthy and there is NO chance it will get closer to me than arms length. For what it is worth, I know more than a few Roman Catholics who have the same heated angers toward the Vatican that they have toward the JWs.

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