15 When I was in Jerusalem, the high priests and Jewish leaders brought a bunch of accusations against him and wanted me to sentence him to death.
16 I told them that wasn't the way we Romans did things. Just because a man is accused, we don't throw him out to the dogs. We make sure the accused has a chance to face his accusers and defend himself of the charges.
17 So when they came down here I got right on the case. I took my place in the courtroom and put the man on the stand.
18 "The accusers came at him from all sides,
19 but their accusations turned out to be nothing more than arguments about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who the prisoner claimed was alive.
20 Since I'm a newcomer here and don't understand everything involved in cases like this, I asked if he'd be willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there.
21 Paul refused and demanded a hearing before His Majesty in our highest court. So I ordered him returned to custody until I could send him to Caesar in Rome."
22 Agrippa said, "I'd like to see this man and hear his story." "Good," said Festus. "We'll bring him in first thing in the morning and you'll hear it for yourself."
23 The next day everybody who was anybody in Caesarea found his way to the Great Hall, along with the top military brass. Agrippa and Bernice made a flourishing grand entrance and took their places. Festus then ordered Paul brought in.
24 Festus said, "King Agrippa and distinguished guests, take a good look at this man. A bunch of Jews petitioned me first in Jerusalem, and later here, to do away with him. They have been most vehement in demanding his execution.
25 I looked into it and decided that he had committed no crime. He requested a trial before Caesar and I agreed to send him to Rome.