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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jury Nullification in Philadelphia? Or is our justice system just too broken?


I wonder if we'll find out some day there was jury nullification in the Philadelphia trial of Monsignor William J. Lynn and Father James J. Brennan.  It only takes one juror to prevent a verdict, and God knows, the Catholic Church has enough attorneys and investigators to find one person on the panel who was vulnerable and would stymie any efforts to convict.

"I don't know what the problem is," Judge Theresa Sarmina said to attorneys after the jury reported it was hung on all counts except one. (Per Reuters today).  

The judge spoke out of earshot of jurors, waiting until they left the room to continue their twelfth day of conferring.  Because honest people in this country still go through the motions of justice, even when it's obvious justice will not be carried out.  Honestly, how much more evidence did the jury need?   Read the best coverage of the Philadelphia Trial at Philadelphia Abuse Trial Blog by Ralph Cipriano.
Meanwhile, for another good summer read, go to Abused by Fr. James Robinson, a blog by Geoffrey Smith of Ireland, relating his experience testifying as one of the victims in the Robinson case in the UK in 2010.  You remember Robinson,  the priest who was located living on the lam in California, receiving generous paychecks from the Church while about a dozen victims were trying to experience justice in England?

In the Robinson case the judge acknowledged that one trial could not reveal the entirety of the crimes committed by Catholic Church hierarchy, when it came to children being raped by priests: 

Passing sentence on Robinson, Judge Patrick Thomas QC said:  “It is not for me to judge.  Others may take the view that a full investigation and full disclosure of the results of that investigation is due to the members of that church and [Robinson’s victims].”   (As quoted in dozens of news articles about the sentencing including The Sun.  )

It is not for the judge to judge?  

Well, who the heck is going to finally deliver justice in this crime spree that was carried out in Catholic Churches all over the world leaving about a hundred thousand victims alive in the USA alone right now? 

Will we see more cases like William Lynch beating up his perpetrator priest in Northern California, out of frustration among pedophile priest crime victims? 

As the jury was reporting today that it was hung up in Philadelphia, opening arguments were delayed "for an undisclosed reason" reports NBC Bay Area from San Jose "Justice Center" where Lynch is about to go on trial: 

Read this fascinating interview with Lynch  about one survivor's frustration with justice, published in the San Jose Mercury News a few days before the trial was to begin. 

Of course I'm not advocating that victims take justice into our own hands and start clobbering priests, but considering the justice interruptus we've experienced now in city after city, while the Catholic Church is still able to claim some kind of moral authority in our nation, it's understandable if victims decide to take matters into their own hands. 

All of this abuse of justice and waste of time and public money could have been avoided if the priests had just come clean from the start, and if the bishops would now admit how guilty they've been for decades.  But instead we have Catholic bishops about to embark on their Fortnight for Freedom campaign, where the bishops will attempt to dictate whether women can even have access to birth control, because planning pregnancies is such a horrible sin.   

Just look the other way, people, the bishops are saying.  Pretend none of these crimes happened.  We want to tell you how religious freedom is being lost in the United States by health insurance policies covering birth control pills for women who are not even Catholic.  

“Celibate” men who we now know allowed thousands of children to be raped while they coddled the rapists are a moral authority? 

Back to Philadelphia: 

I think we're seeing jury nullification in Philadelphia.  I've been saying that for a week at Philadelphia Abuse Trial Blog in the comments section.  Of course I don't know any facts, I'm just going on hunches based on years of paying attention. 

The jury in Philadelphia, in its 12th day of deliberations, cited its dilemma in a note to Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina that read: "We the jury are at a hung jury status on all charges except for one."

"Please advise us as to our next step," it said.

The judge, who read the note aloud in the courtroom, conferred with prosecutors and defense attorneys and sent the jurors back to continue trying to reach a verdict, then said to the attorneys:  "I don't know what the problem is."

It seems nothing works in this country anymore.  

By Kay Ebeling, in Limbo 

Art used to illustrate this story is "Blind Justice Oil on Paper" by Brad Marshall available at Brad Marshall Art

RE How Ugly This Print Looks?

I don't know what is wrong with Blogger and Google but I cannot make the words look any better than this.  Blogger "upgraded" a few months back...

Like I said, Nothing Works anymore.


  1. Jay Nelson sends this comment:

    The fix is in, Kay. Does it surprise you? This is a country where millionaires, politicians, and bishops don't go to jail. Because you know if they get Lynn, that could be the first one on a long, long chain.

    God alone knows what the jurors have been promised or threatened with.


  2. There are enough catholic and corrupt politicians in PA that any crime can and has been covered up. To fix a PA jury is a no brainer. Watch the the state senate and house to seriously talk about opening the statut of limitations for survivors of sex abuse. They'll talk a good talk, but it won;t happen. I hope I'm wrong but PA is where the devil takes his vacation. A vacation that comes with an open invitation from catholic church hierarchy.
    Mike Ference


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