Testifying recently in the trial of Army Major John E. Jackson and his wife Carolyn in New Jersey was their biological son, older sibling to the three adopted children the Jacksons are accused of abusing. They are accused of breaking their adopted and foster children’s bones, depriving them of water, force-feeding them hot sauce and red pepper flakes, and neglecting to get them medical help, among the 17 counts of abuse against the Jacksons. Additionally, they have been accused of training their three biological children to participate in the abuse. One of the adopted children died in May of 2008, but that information is being withheld from the jurors.
Included in the Jacksons’ 16-year-old biological son’s testimony, as reported by Thomas Zambito with NJ Advance Media, is that his parents used Bible verses to justify their physical discipline. He said they used a wooden paddle regularly, and sometimes excessively. Being struck with the paddle began at a very young age. The teen’s younger brother was given a specific amount of time to get into his car seat, and if he wasn’t fast enough, he was swatted. “He would cry and moan sometimes. If he cried out or screamed excessively he would get more swats.” The teen testified that the paddle was used more and more frequently as his brother got older.
The continuing trial is expected to last another few weeks.