Jury Selection for Priest Abuse Trial Could Take Longer


Click here to read: “It could take a month to pick a jury for three priests’ abuse trial,” by Mensah M. Dean, Philadelphia Daily News, Feb. 23, 2012

Excerpt: “Jury selection rarely takes more than a day or so. But for a trial that will feature the intersection of two emotionally charged issues – religion and child abuse – taking such a long time to pick a jury is understandable and necessary, said Marita Green, chair of Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia.

‘A lot of people have been touched, swayed and educated by the Catholic Church,’ said Green, whose Germantown-based group supports survivors of clerical abuse and encourages lay people to get involved with their churches to help prevent child abuse. ‘You don’t want people who are hostile to the church or who’ve had bad experiences with the church, or people who are so admiring of the church that they cannot believe that bad things happen in the church.'”

 

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42 Responses to “Jury Selection for Priest Abuse Trial Could Take Longer”

  1. It’s all about billable hours to the defense attorneys

    • Unabletotrust, you got that right. Since Chaput has unlimited funds from Catholics’ contributions, the defense lawyers know the more billable hours the better.

      Chaput must at all costs try to keep Rigali’s name out of the trial, especially if Chaput wants his cardinal’s cap. This Philly trial even has significant national implications for the current US election campaign.

      For info on Rigali’s continuing role in US national politics, please read my comment, “Papal Ploy Planned in 2009”, readily accessible by clicking on at:

      http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/gops-b-team

  2. It seems impossible for any informed potential juror to view this case dispassionately. The rape of a child, in a church, by someone they are taught to call father is the most vile thing imaginable. Perhaps some in the jury pool haven’t followed current events for the last 2 decades…but it seems unlikely in my estimation. I am not surprised that jury selection will be a cumbersome process.

    • MH, the jury system actually expects jurors will be passionate on alleged crimes that provoke passion. Defendants’ protections are built into the rules of admissable evidence administered by an impartial judge and the right to appeal.

      Lynn, et al., have so far gotten “fairer” justice than 99.9% of defendants in American trials. Of course, the defense lawyers and Chaput and his well paid apologists, like Bill Donahue, will keep trying to spin it otherwise. They have seen the evidence and are very worried, AMEN.

      I expect the secret plea bargain negotiations will get very intense over the next few weeks.

      • It’s great that the defense lawyers are zealously billing out.The sooner the defense funds dwindle, the better.
        Can anyone even listen to Bill Donahue? He always causes me to change the channel. He reminds me of Grover Dill (Scut Farkus’ toadie from the movie, A Christmas Story)

  3. The more interesting question posed to a potential juror might be, “Are you a practicing Roman Catholic?…Naturally, the definition of “practicing” has many nuances, definitions and descriptions. But what I find most curious is how a Catholic juror might respond to the exposure of his/her faith’s leadership as being so blatantly wrong, criminal and sinful. Essentially one’s personal faith that one might hold so dear and important, could be personally embarrassing. Hopefully, there will be Catholic jurors who can separate their legal and civil responsibilities from their religious affiliations. They will need to stop drinking the “Kool Aid”, they will also need to acknowledge the failures, weaknesses and sins of their Church’s clergy: their children have been raped, their money has been stolen and misappropriated, lastly, they’ve been lied to on a frequent basis. Accepting these realities will hopefully allow for an objective mindset.

    • Hopefully, Leo, Catholic jurors will look past the hierarchy’s 1,700 year ideological effort since Constantine to pervert Jesus’ clear message. Jesus told us the “truth” will make us free.

      There is no difference between our civil governments’ truth and our Church’s truth.

      I am confident Judge Sarmina, who went to a Catholic college and law school, knows this well.

      By this summer, the world will also know this, thanks to the honest efforts of Philly jurors.

  4. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply February 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Has anyone heard about the possible use of the proceeds of the sale of North Catholic High School to fund the legal defense of the current criminal trials involving the sexual abuse cases?

    • Michael, since the Philly AD’s cash is fungible, it would appear inevitable the AD’s profit from selling closed schools and churches will be used to fund the AD’s abuse-related legal expenses. Of course, given the AD’s secrecy, we may never know the exact routing of the cash.

  5. Here’s an interesting link to a recent homily by a local priest…

    thought you all would like it… especially since you all care soooo much about the good work the Church does šŸ˜‰

    • “SOO” MUCH MORE PAPAL BULL: I respectfully respect Kathy and Susan to consider deleting as “off-topic” this election year pulpit political propaganda from a site focused on ending child sexual abuse and securing justice for victims.

      As support for my propaganda charge, I direct you to my comment (including cross-links) entitled, “Papal Ploy Planned in 2009” about the masterplan of Philly’s Rigali, Chaput, et al. to replace Obama.

      Whatever they decide will be fine by me, especially because this attempt to abuse the Gospel pulpit is mainly counter-productive.

      To access my comment, please click on at:

      http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/gops-b-team

      • Jerry,

        Off topic – yes, but vitally important to all practicing Christians and Catholics. Let’s pray that Obama is soundly defeated.

      • Joe B, Catholics should vote their conscience, but not like sheep by following the mandate of a priest who obviously is obeying blindly his bishop’s order to give a political speech to his unsuspecting captive audience.

        The Middle Ages are over and Catholics can think for themselves on political matters.

        Catholic voters certainly will give little credibility to priests, when so many priests remained, and still remain, silent about preventing the sexual abuse of children and showing respect to suffering and innocent victims.

      • You guys, we are sadly off the subject of Jury Selection in the Lynn trial, a matter of substantial concern to C4C whose concern is to protect innocent children from abuse.

        I think especially in an election year, that there are doubtless many blogs that wish to comment on religious freedom and contraception issues, where the “homily” would be ever so much more appropriate.

      • Jerry Writes: “Joe B, Catholics should vote their conscience, but not like sheep by following the mandate of a priest who obviously is obeying blindly his bishopā€™s order to give a political speech to his unsuspecting captive audience.The Middle Ages are over and Catholics can think for themselves on political matters.”

        True, we are supposed to vote according to our conscience, but we have an obligation to have an informed conscience. To vote according to the TRUTH. The bishops do not want “blind obedience” that’s a dumb concept Jerry. The Bishops are required to be teachers of the faith. that’s what they are doing here… helping us to learn so that we can make good, responsible decisions.

        Regarding your comment about the Middle Ages. I’m sick of people always going back to the “middle ages” to tear down the Church. the Church has moved on, why won’t others? secondly, if you know anything about history… there were no “political matters” in the Middle Ages. there were no elections, elected officials, etc. Mostly governing bodies where not elected in the middle ages and people did not have a say in the laws of a country. Today we do and hence the Bishops need to teach us about our catholic faith so that we can choose wisely, as our well informed consciences dictate. You say the Church is stuck in the Middle Ages, it sounds like your concept of the Church is stuck in the Middle ages. The Church left the Middle ages centuries ago, maybe you should too.

        PS: Our Lord Himself is the shepherd and we are the sheep, stop saying that being a sheep is a bad thing!!!

      • Johnny V,

        You stated, “The bishops do not want ā€œblind obedienceā€ thatā€™s a dumb concept …”

        By making that statement you have rendered your credibility null and void. But, as I said before, my thinking two decades ago has similarities to your present reasoning. I suspect that you are a man of tender years, not legally, but in the ways of the Church.

        Don’t worry; with a little more seasoning you should be fine.

    • “…especially since you all care soooo much about the good work the Church does”

      The malevolent actions of the Church, and postings such as yours have made a cynic out of me a long time ago.

      Johnny V, what precisely are you trying to accomplish? If you want to be a PR men for the the RCC I would suggest enrolling in a Dale Carnegie course. You need to brush up on your persuasion skills. It’s clear that you’re getting no where with the people on this blog.

      • drwho13 writes, “Johnny V, You stated, ā€œThe bishops do not want ā€œblind obedienceā€ thatā€™s a dumb concept ā€¦ā€ By making that statement you have rendered your credibility null and void.”

        How have I rendered my credibility “null and void” just because you don’t like what I wrote, doesn’t make me not credible. you judge the bishops with such a stereotypical attitude. You seriously think that Bishops want blind obedience? That’s absurd!

        And how condescending for you to write “Donā€™t worry; with a little more seasoning you should be fine.” You judge me to be naive just because you want to believe a false reality. Bishops are charged to teach, to sanctify and to govern, not to be masters of salves. If you even think they would want that, I doubt that you personally know any bishops.

        It seems that you need to remember the words of Our Lord: “ā€œStop judging,* that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brotherā€™s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ā€˜Let me remove that splinter from your eye,ā€™ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite,* remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brotherā€™s eye.” (Matthew 7:2)

      • Jonney V,

        “Bishops are charged to teach, to sanctify and to govern, not to be masters of salves.” Yes that’s true, but these bishops have drop the ball in this case. My intent is not to be condescending. You simply strike me a being a young man (true or untrue?), and that’s not a bad thing.

      • Johnny V,

        “Stop judging”?

        Get your wits about you and start judging.

      • Johnny I have a 2004 political conundrum for you relative to the bishops ‘teaching’. John Kerry was the candidate that they opposed.

        In central CA, in my diocese there was no specific voting directives given, if I was in my Oregon home, I could vote for Kerry, but was instructed to write him expressing my opposition to some of his positions, if I visited family in Denver, I could not receive communion if I voted for Kerry and when seeing my kids in LA, there was no episcopal direction, relative to my vote. It would seem that it was a shifting geographical episcopal set of directions/’teachings’

        As to Jerry’s Middle Ages references, perhaps he was thinking of the Borgia Popes, The Inquisition, The Papacy in Avignon, or the
        Crusades…not sure which.

        I feel sure that you are aware of the Vatican 2 document on the Laity as well as the document on Religious freedom. Our present pope was at the Council and was instrumental in defining the primacy of personal conscience issue as was Thomas Acquinas et al.

    • Johnny V.,
      I thought it was interesting the part about the meeting and promises behind close doors with Obama. It seems to the Bishops Obama did not keep his word………….I see a parallel with the church………promises not kept to victims by Bishops to keep other children safe…………..how does it feel Bishops to be conned, lied to and betrayed………does not seem like they like it too much. Maybe their are some good bishops Johnny………..read Archbishop Bev’s testamony and it will give you chills. With recent article on the shredded pedophile list what else to do you need to show children were betrayed in the philadelphia archdiocese.

  6. It is not about you, “Father Sammie” …. it is about the victims of clergy sexual abuse … lay off the President, and, walk in the shoes of those sexually abused … that is what this blog is about. AMEN!

  7. I thought it a bit sickening too, especially when we know the deviousness of bishops in protecting the church against having the protection of our children and the rights of those making it through the mothers womb as their first priority.

  8. Jerry, I just read your posting in the NCR online article. Bravo, well researched and well said.

    Imagine Dolan behind bars defending the right of women NOT to have contraception medications!!!! Imagine, too, one or more RCC bishops really standing up for a position he personally believed in.

    Yes, I believe that the unlimited funds of the RCC and their willingness to spend it on defending their henchman will probably produce a plea agreement. However, the Judge may see through their tactics!

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. As Kathy earlier noted, a plea bargain is not necessarily a bad result, if (1) Lynn were to serve an appropriate prison term, and (2) there is full disclosure of the Philly AD’s files and of the role of the hieararchy, including Cardinals Rigali and Bevilacqua.

    • “unlimited funds” Elizabeth.. you are really living on another planet… sorry to state the obvious on that one

  9. And now a new twist, Lynn’s attorneys claim he was not guilty….it was all Bev’s fault for ordering the shredding of documents detailing abusing clergy!

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120224_Lawyers__Bevilacqua_ordered_memo_on_priests_to_be_shredded_.html

    • WOW! WOW! WOW! Lynn is “rolling over” on Bevilacqua already. Stephen King couldn’t write something this creepy.

    • The ” {dead} devil made me do it” defense didn’t work for Eichmann; it won’t work for Lynn. If this is the best Lynn’s lawyers can come up with, perhaps he should be considering replacing his lawyers. Lynn obeyed the orders to please his boss and now wants sympathy. Amazing!

      As memos like this drip out, it is becoming clearer that it is going to be a painful process for many. Let us all work to support the victims, as we do all we can to keep Seth Williams’ and Judge Sarmina’s feet to the fire.

      • Jerry, I call this the Nurenburg defense, your Eichmann reference, but for those younger than us, perhaps it should be called the’Abu Graib’ defense. Pretty pathetic.

    • Fried in their own grease.

    • Susan and Kathy,

      Please, please put Joan’s article up as a main C4C post. The potential for interesting comments is endless. Thank you.

  10. Oh wow! talk about damage control > Chaput is now the celestial hero in announcing that all the supposedly closing high schools will be open thanks to the laity’s earnest, sincere and generosity of financial donations. This announcement is putting him in the laity of Philly’s good graces. It makes me sick.

    • Theresa, I normally agree with you, but as grandmother of a catholic high school student and another coming up shortly, I am glad for the kids, their parents and the creative fundraising they did.

      • Joan, as a parent and grandparent of Catholic school students, I completely understand. Chaput and his conniving confreres are trying to divide us by playing our kids and grandkids’ as a wedge between us. If we keep focused on Jesus’ simple mandates, we will sail through this clerical blockade and be ever stronger for our efforts.

    • Earth to celestial hero:

      Stop yanking us around!

  11. Joan, thanks for your response, but, it is NOT about the fabulous news that the high schools will remain open. It is about Chaput’s making the announcement on TV looking like a rock star. It makes me sick.

    • Theresa, THAT, I can understand and appreciate!

      • Theresa, I wish Kathy would show up and share…if memory serves her high school alumni group formed an independent 501C3 that did some substantive fundraising.

        I would like to know how that effort impacts a diocesan high school?

  12. No idea Joan about the fundraising efforts except a man on TV named O”Neill made a wish to his dying Mother to do what he could to save the schools, so he did. Also, Bonner & Prendie raised 5 mil with the help of an anonymous donor. Also, I may have gotten the direction of this blog off kilter. Forgive me …. I couldn’t help myself with the “appearance” of the celestial hero, Chaput. Now, let us return to the main thrust of this blog which is the victims of sexual abuse.

  13. The Bishops are torn between their derise to help people and their belief systems that declare abortion to be akin to murder. With such a dogmatic approach to thinking, it is obviously going to be difficult for them to come to a decision. Their waffling on support of health reform largely reflects their inability to come to a consensus just like the Democrats are having because of some dogmatic thinking by some of their senators. In both cases, we have political groups with strongly opinionated individuals.

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