Article: Murder convictions overturned because Jehovah's Witness not allowed to serve on jury
Murder convictions overturned because Jehovah's Witness not allowed to serve on juryFebruary 14, 2018New trials were ordered in the murder cases of (l to r) John Pacchiana, Christin Bilotti and Michael Bilotti, accused of the 2005 murder of Richard Rojas in Davie.
A father, daughter and strip club bouncer convicted of murder in 2015 are entitled to a new trial because the judge on the case unfairly kept a Jehovah’s Witness off the jury, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.
Michael and Christin Bilotti were convicted, along with John Pacchiana, of murder in the death of Richard Rojas, a Miami teenager who, according to trial testimony, had been falsely accused of rape and burglary. READ MORE:
Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson was wrong to keep a member of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, commonly known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, off the jury, according to the Fourth District Court of Appeal.
The appeals court drew a distinction between common understanding of a group’s religious beliefs and an individual member's adherence to those beliefs.
“The potential juror stated that she would follow the law and gave no indication that she would allow her status as a Jehovah’s Witness to affect her decision-making at all,” the court ruled. “In moving to strike her, the state merely relied on the juror’s membership in a religion without any testimony that it would actually affect her service as a juror.’’
Is it just me or is that the stupidest reason to overturn a conviction? Surely if they are worried about the JW lady's right to serve on a jury, put her in another one!
Does the fact that she wasn't on this one change the facts of the case? The case has already been decided on by a jury.
Seems ridiculous to me.
Really, what part of life can't JWs screw up if they're involved in any way. I don't see why you would throw out all of the hard work done for that reason.