Religion: Judgment Day

Day The jury nails Jim Bakker on all 24 counts of fraud

Just before the inevitable verdict came down last week, a gaggle of Jim Bakker's faithful backers defiantly held aloft a King James Bible opened to Psalm 17: 3: "Thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing." But the jury sang a different psalm: Guilty as charged on all 24 counts of defrauding the public of $3.7 million via TV, phone and mail. Testimony about one of the ripest scandals in U.S. religious history had consumed 25 days; the jury needed less than eleven hours to decide.

Fittingly, the proceedings ended on a theatrical note. In the bail hearing, Federal Judge Robert...

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