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Fourth Circuit orders hearing on juror bias

(AP) A federal appeals court has ordered a hearing on whether a juror in a North Carolina death penalty case was improperly influenced when her father suggested she read a Bible verse.

A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday unanimously reversed a judge’s ruling denying a hearing for Jason Wayne Hurst, who was sentenced to death for the 2002 shooting death of an acquaintance in Asheboro.

Juror Christina Foster said in an affidavit that, before sentencing, she asked her father where she could find guidance in the Bible. Her father directed her to a passage about “an eye for an eye.” The juror said she slept better after reading the passage. She voted for the death penalty the next day.

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