Texas Judge Accused of Misconduct for Ordering Defendant to Copy Bible Verses and Marry his Girlfriend

Saturday, August 22, 2015
Judge Randall Rogers (photo: YouTube)

Judge Randall Rogers of Smith County, Texas, is facing an ethics complaint of misconduct for ordering a man to marry his girlfriend and write down a Bible verse 25 times a day.


The alternative for the defendant, Josten Bundy, was 15 days in jail. Bundy, 19, got into trouble for punching the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes, after he insulted her, according to Bundy.


Admitting what he had done was wrong, Bundy was put on probation by Rogers. But the judge went a step further. He also ordered Bundy to copy Proverbs 26:26: “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it.” Rogers also required Bundy to marry Jaynes within 30 days as a condition of his probation. Otherwise, the deal was off, and Bundy would spend 15 days behind bars. Bundy chose probation and its conditions because he was afraid he’d lose his job if he missed work.


Although the couple had planned to get married, they were upset that they were forced to rush into it. “It just felt like we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted,” Jaynes told KLTV. “It was just going to be kind of pieced together; I didn’t even have a white dress.”


Rogers’ actions caught the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The group filed an ethics complaint against the judge accusing him of illegal conduct for which “he should face serious consequences.”


“Judges cannot require people to get married or force them to write Bible verses,” foundation attorney Sam Grover said, according to Courthouse News Service. “His actions demonstrate a religious bias with significant implications for any nonreligious or non-Christian litigants appearing before him.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Judge Sentences East Texas Man To Get Married Or Face Jail Time (by Julia Jenaé, KLTV)

Ethics Complaint Against Religious Judge (by David Lee, Courthouse News Service)

Judge Who Sentenced Man To Marry His Girlfriend Recuses Himself From Case (KLTV)

Judge Says Man Can Either Get Married Or Go To Jail (by David Lohr and Simon McCormack, Huffington Post)


Karen Francis 5 years ago
My son was ordered to write bible verses as part of his probation. 1125 to be exact. And a lot of other people In court that day were ordered the same!!! From Judge Rodgers !!
Brelle Lytle 8 years ago
Phillip- It is not appropriate for a judge to sentence a defendant to write bible verses or to get married. This is not appropriate because we have what is called "freedom of religion" in this country. That means that people are free to believe and practice whatever religion they choose or none at all, and our government (including our courtrooms) are to be 100% free of any and all types of religious bias. Religion has absolutely no place in the courtroom, and your blathering about sins and god and catholicism contribute nothing to this discussion because they are totally irrelevant to the matter at hand. It's wonderful that you have a religion that you believe in, and you're absolutely within your rights to believe and practice your religion as you will. You, the judge in this case, the prosecutor, and the defendant all have the right to practice whatever religion you choose. You DO NOT have the right to attempt to force your beliefs upon the rest of us and that judge was incredibly wrong in to both allow his religion to bias his decision and attemp to impose his beliefs upon the defendant and the court itself with his sentence. Other people have the right to believe as they will, even if their beliefs are such as they contradict or even reject your own. It sounds like both you and that fat, arrogant twit of a judge both need to work harder at getting that simple, simple concept through your thick skulls.
harley 8 years ago
Phillip: You're point is? Judges are not elected to push their own religious views, they're there to decide guilt/innocence and sentencing (if guilty) based on the state's laws, not the Bible or your interpretation of your version of the Bible. Besides, my Catholic upbringing taught me that the sacrament of marriage is sacred....forcing two people to hurry up and get married before they've decided they are meant to be together forever (religion's view, not the legal state of marriage since divorce is legal)makes a mockery of marriage, and for those who believe it is a sacrament, a mockery of a sacred sacrament. If they sinned according to their religion, then it's up to them to seek absolution from their religion, not from a judge. The young man beat up another man, he is responsible for that and his sentencing should only be based on that crime, not the judge's religious views, yours, mine, or any other of the hundred of religions in our country -- all of which seem to claim to be the one true religion.
Phillip 8 years ago
You are "unclean", as The True Catholic God days. Anyone living together outside of Holy Matrimony is either fornication, or worse, adultery. Both mortal sins demand punishment from God. NFP is another mortal sin. If you deny these basic dogmas, you are a heretic. There is no salvation outside the True Catholic Church. For your only hope of salvation, go to www.johnthebaptist.us Repent of your sins and abjure your heresies against God and His True Catholic Church. "For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." (Ephesians 5:5)

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