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Juror excused from Elizabeth Holmes trial due to religious convictions

On Wednesday, a juror was excused from Elizabeth Holmes’ trial due to religious convictions.

Juror excused from Elizabeth Holmes trial due to religious beliefs: “I am a Buddhist, and so I practice compassion, you know, loving and forgiveness,” juror No. 4 explained to U.S. District Judge Edward Davila.

She told the court that she had grown concerned about how Holmes would be “punished by the government” if she found him guilty.

“I think about it every day,” she continued. She was excused at the request of the prosecution, and the defense did not object.

However, the alternate juror who was supposed to replace juror No. 4 expressed concern as well. “She’s so young,” the alternate remarked about Holmes.

“This is my first time in this situation, and it’s about her future,” she explained. “I’m not sure if I’m completely prepared to take part in something like this.”

Davila went on to explain how the process would work and how jurors would have no say in Holmes’ sentence, adding that “punishment” should not be considered at all while the jury deliberates.

Neither of her lawyers objected to her remaining on the jury, and the judge determined she was fit to replace juror No. 4. She replaced Juror No. 4 on Wednesday morning.

Now that Juror No. 4 has been excused, there are 15 remaining jurors: 12 active and three alternates.

Wednesday was only the 12th day of Holmes’ trial, which had been postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Holmes’ pregnancy.

Davila anticipates that the trial will conclude in December, but the timeline has already been pushed back a day due to a false alarm coronavirus scare among the jury during the trial’s first week.

Juror excused from Elizabeth Holmes trial due to religious convictions
Elizabeth Holmes with her partner, Billy Evans, outside court last month. Credit: Mike Kai Chen for The New York Times

In 2003, Holmes founded Theranos, claiming that the company was developing blood testing technology capable of performing hundreds of blood tests with only a few drops of blood.

Holmes and former Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who is also Holmes’ ex-boyfriend, face a dozen wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges in connection with what prosecutors call a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors and patients.

Originally, the pair were to be tried together, but the trials were halted in December 2019 due to allegations of abuse by Balwani against Holmes, which Balwani has denied.

Jurors heard from former Theranos lab director Dr. Adam Rosendorff this week and last, who claims he warned Holmes about Theranos device flaws.

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He testified in court that he tried to delay the company’s Walgreens launch, pleading with a “nervous” Holmes, who went ahead anyway. Lance Wade, the defense attorney, attempted to discredit Rosendorff during cross-examination.

Read on ABC News

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