Buddhist juror excused from Theranos trial over religious concerns
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A second juror on Wednesday was excused from the Theranos trial after the woman expressed religious concerns about Elizabeth Holmes being punished if she's found guilty.
Juror No. 4 told U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila that she wanted to speak to him about concerns with her service.
She said she was concerned she couldn't continue serving on the case because she's a Buddhist.
"If she is found guilty and gets punishment from the government for that I feel guilty for that every day in my life," she told the judge.
The prosecution also asked for the juror to be dismissed over her "sincerely held beliefs." The defense did not object to her being excused.
Get more updates by following KTVU's live blog on the case.
Before she was dismissed, Davila stressed that she is not allowed to consider punishment in deliberations and must only consider the facts.
"You may not consider punishment in anyway," he said. "That's forbidden."
Ultimately, Davila decided to replace juror No. 4 with alternate No. 2.
The alternate told the judge that she was concerned English wasn't her first language, but Davila countered that it's very normal to be nervous in the proceeding and the jury pool is made up of a diverse background of people who speak different languages.
Juror No. 4 is the second juror to be excused from the trial. Last month, Davila dismissed juror No. 7 – a 19-year-old woman -- due to financial hardships
Holmes, the onetime Silicon Valley superstar CEO, is facing federal charges of fraud following allegations her biotech company bilked investors and patients alike.
Specifically she is charged with 10 counts of fraud and two counts of conspiracy for allegedly defrauding investors and patients.
Evan Sernoffsky is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email Evan at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EvanSernoffsky