Friday, June 22, 2012

Jury Returns Mixed Verdict

On the thirteenth day of deliberations, the jury finally reached a verdict in the Philadelphia priest abuse trial. Msgr. Lynn was found guilty on a single count of child endangerment, but he was acquitted on a conspiracy charge and a second child endangerment charge. The jury was deadlocked on the charges against Fr. James Brennan. 

More to come...


  1. So, in other words, they were afraid of a Casey Anthony reaction and convicted him on the smallest charge they could. They couldn't even convict him on the 2nd endangerment charge. Pitiful. Will be fascinating to see if he gets any jail time. I suspect not.

  2. Of course they didn't convict him on the second endangerment charge. How could they if they didn't convict the other accused of actually endangering the child either?

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  4. One down. thousands to go. But a victory none the less. Yay!

  5. I'm very curious to see what happens on appeal. I think the defense makes a good case that the statue in effect at the time Msgr. Lynn was the Vicar for Clergy does not cover him. The statue reads that to be guilty of endangering a child the accused must have worked directly with children. Msgr. Lynn was not working directly with any of these children so the law didn't cover him. If it did cover him, as it would today, I believe he may have acted differently.

    This case is far from over. The judge in this case refused to allow this line of appeal to be worked out ahead of this long, costly trial. My suspicion is that this conviction will be overturned on appeal. After all - the only reason they had all this testimony against Msgr. Lynn was because he cooperated openly and honestly with the first grand jury investigation - a grand jury that ruled they wanted to bring charges; however, they were unable because the law didn't cover the actions of Msgr. Lynn and those above him in the Church hierarchy.

    Finally - I'm anxious to see if the Sandusky trial and recent allegations of sexual misconduct & abuse of teens or younger children by private and public school teachers will result in similar prosecutions for principals and superintendents that knowingly transferred, sometimes with positive recommendations, abuser teachers to other school districts.

    Maybe 20-25% of the children in this nation are involved with the Catholic Church. I don't know how many children are home-schooled - but I would guess that well over 90% of the nations children are involved with public or private school teachers for longer periods of time than they generally interact with priests. This issue and the rulings that come out of this trial and its appeals may impact future trials where school teachers are accused of criminal misconduct or sexual abuse of children.

    Sadly, this issue shouldn't leave the front page for a long time.


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