Buddhism beliefs

Juror excused from Elizabeth Holmes trial over religious beliefs

The juror, a Buddhist, said the trial caused him anxiety.

A juror was excused from Elizabeth Holmes’ trial on Wednesday, citing religious beliefs.

“I’m a Buddhist, so I practice compassion, you know, love and forgiveness,” Juror #4 told U.S. District Judge Edward Davila.

She told the court she became anxious anticipating how Holmes would be “punished by the government” if she were to find him guilty.

“I can’t stop thinking about it every day,” she added. She was excused at the request of the prosecution; the defense did not object.

The substitute juror called to replace juror No. 4, however, also expressed his concern. “She’s so young,” the Davila alternative said, referring to Holmes.

“It’s the first time I’ve been in this situation and it’s his future,” she said. “I don’t know if I’m 100% ready to participate in something like this.”

Davila explained how the process would work and how jurors would have no role in convicting Holmes – adding that ‘punishment’ should not be considered at all while the jury is deliberating. None of the attorneys objected to her remaining on the jury and the judge ruled she was fit to take the No. 4 juror spot. She took the No. 4 juror spot on Wednesday morning.

Now that juror No. 4 is excused, there are 15 jurors left: 12 active and three alternates.

Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 and claimed the company was developing blood test technology capable of performing hundreds of blood tests using just a few drops of blood. Holmes and former Theranos chief operating officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, also Holmes’ ex-boyfriend, face a dozen charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in part of what prosecutors call a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors and patients.

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

This week and last, jurors heard from former Theranos lab director Dr. Adam Rosendorff, who claims to have tipped Holmes off to Theranos device failures. He told the court he tried to delay the company’s Walgreens launch, pleading with a “nervous” Holmes, who moved on nonetheless. Under cross-examination, defense attorney Lance Wade attempted to discredit Rosendorff.

A full recap of the proceedings from the past week is available on ABC News’ podcast “The Dropout: Elizabeth Holmes on Trial,” free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you listen to podcasts.