Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The "Read-Back Jury" Frustrates Judge, Lawyers in Archdiocese Sex Abuse Case

They're not a runaway jury, they're a read back jury.

Jurors in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case keep asking for more testimony to be read back to them. On Monday, the jurors asked for the transcript of Father James J. Brennan's canonical hearing to be read back. That's the record of the 2008 church inquest made into sex abuse allegations against Father Brennan by Mark Bukowski. That was two hours of fun, but at least the jurors asked for something that had originally been part of the evidence presented at trial in this case.

On Tuesday, the jury asked for a read back on a document that had not been presented to the jury during the trial, now in its 12th week in Courtroom 304. Specifically, the jury asked for a transcript of Mark Bukowski's testimony to the canonical court that investigated his allegations of sex abuse against Father Brennan. Bukowski has alleged that back in 1996, when he was 14, Father Brennan attempted to rape him.

This document was never read to the jury in its entirety, but excerpts were used by both prosecutors and defense lawyers to buttress their cases. Tuesday, the jury asked Judge M. Teresa Sarmina for permission to read the entire document, and the judge granted that request over the strenuous objections of Father Brennan's defense attorney, William J. Brennan.

Brennan complained that by allowing the transcript to be read into the record, the judge was in effect permitting the alleged victim, Mark Bukowski, to make a second appearance in the courtroom, only this time he could not be subject to cross-examination.

"I think you're dead wrong on the law," Brennan told the judge.

When the judge asked who was going to read back Bukowski's testimony to the jury, defense attorney Brennan suggested that the judge bring back Mark Bukowski himself to read it. During a courtroom break, out in the hallway, Brennan threw his cell phone against a wall in disgust.

The judge also had the court reporter read back Jack Rossiter's report of his interview with Father Brennan. Rossiter was a former FBI agent hired by the archdiocese to investigate allegations of sex abuse.  The read backs of the Bukowski testimony and the Rossiter testimony went on for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon.

But the fun part was, when the jury was finished hearing the latest read backs, they retired to the jury room, and 90 minutes later, they sent a note to the judge asking for more read backs. The jury asked the judge to have Mark Bukowski's testimony read back to them, which took up two days in court. The jury also asked for the testimony of Mark Bukowksi's mother to be read back. The jury also asked for the testimony of a former 10-year-old altar boy to be read back.

The former altar boy was the victim sexually abused by Father Edward V. Avery, who has pleaded guilty to involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a minor.

The jury's latest requests did not sit well with Judge Sarmina.

"I'm certainly not gonna have the whole trial re-read for them," she said. "We can't try this case again," William J. Brennan agreed. "You can tell them when they're this confused, it's called reasonable doubt."

"They have to do their job," Brennan said of the jury.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington argued that as far as the prosecution was concerned, the read backs could go on indefinitely. "Give 'em what they want, Your Honor," Blessington told the judge.

But Judge Sarmina said she wasn't going to do it. "We cannot go back and read days and days of testimony to them," the judge said. Sarmina said she would go along with reading portions of testimony back to clear up disputes among jurors. But there would be no more wholesale reading of court transcripts.

Jurors left court shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday. They have tomorrow off, but are scheduled to return to court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. They are also scheduled to deliberate Friday.


  1. Looks hung on Brennan? But where is the majority.

  2. Here's a theory - there are one or two Catholics on the jury, and they are intentionally distorting the truth in deliberations to delay this until everyone gets so fed up that they give up.

    Most Catholics lie or distort the truth when they are talking about their pedophile priests, so if one or two of the jurors is Catholic, they could say something in deliberations that definitely isn't true, and causes the others on the jury to say, "ok, we'll read back the testimony to prove it to you".

    Eventually, the jurors may get fatigued by the delays of the Catholics and may give up. The is the mini-version o the statute of limitations. Catholics will delay so long that justice won't be served, and the guilty priests may be saved.

    There is no question that Lynn is guilty of aiding and abetting in hiding 35 known pedophile priests, and letting them roam freely until 2011. There is no question about that. The only question is whether Catholics can save him on a technicality by spending $11 million on his legal defense.

    Regardless, this will be permanent proof for future generations of youth that the Catholic church was willing to spend $11 million to save one positively proven pedophile protector.

    This will be the extended proof that this isn't God's church.

    1. not catholics necessarily. pedophiles maybe. but more than likely paid off. this is the mob we're talking about here.

  3. Images of Alice in Wonderland dance in my head as I read this.

    Looks like Jury Nullification from here, as NeilAllen76 points out above.

  4. Neil Allen is wrong. I witnessed many Catholics on juries that found against the Church. That maybe one or two will hold out is possible.. but a hold out may not be catholic too.

  5. More today on the Vatican , money laundering and a Mafia Godfather who is on the run And the Vatican is 100% pure Mafia. What part of paedophile do the jury not understand ? I agree with Roza they have been either paid off or threatened. Video from June 1st explaining what we clearly understand but the jurors not ?


  6. Again, Ralph and Company, does the Catholic Church (priests and faithful) ever do ANYTHING well? I follow this blog closely. I am Catholic. Lynn and Brennan and others may be found guilty. Other priests are guilty. But is EVERY ONE of us out to defend the indefensible? Is every Catholic blind, dumb and unreasonable? I believe there are many of you who feel this way. And if I am correct then those who DO feel this way are truly bigots.

    1. You are part of history's largest organized child rape crime syndicate. If you live in Philly, you helped pay the $11 MILLION legal tab to save Lynn, who absolutely, positively knew about 35 known child rapists in 1994, but didn't do anything to stop them from roaming free in public. Your money may save him from jail, but it proves that the Catholics will pay any amount of your money to protect pedophiles and pedophile protectors.

      Catholics have to be completely blind, dumb and unreasonable to think that this is What Jesus Would Do, but they've been brainwashed to follow their "false idols" no matter what they do.

      You've also been coached to think this is anti-Catholic bashing and bigotry, so you parrot that as you have been brainwashed to do.

      You would also ask, "did Jerry Sandusky do ANTHING well? Everyone seems to be an anti-Sandusky bigot". You think this way because you've been coached that rampant child rape, lying, cover up, and bullying of victims is the right thing to do, and the Christ-like thing to do.

      You should live in daily fear of going before God after defending the child rapists and pedophile protectors who raped children in His name. You can always tell God, "but the child rapists said that's what I was supposed to do..."

    2. Neil Allen it's past your nap time. With victims' supporters like you, who needs enemies?

      Can anyone else here see how whacked this behavior is?

      In other posts at this sight this clown wanted to murder the Pope. Yet this non-victim is telling Catholic believers that they are following "false idols" and that the people in the pews are "brainwashed".
      Nice work Neil pickup your paycheck at the Archdiocese Office. I smell provacaturs. Don't you?

    3. Jim I'm starting to agree with you. This Neil Allen character is so over the top that he could be on somebody's payroll who's trying to make the victims look like seriously deranged people. His rantings are a great way to make the victims lose credibility with the public. I took him seriously in the beginning, but he's made such completely irresponsible and crazy statements that now I just find him funny. However, there are many people who would look at him and think, "These are the kind of loonies who are bringing false claims against the Church."

    4. Maybe he's for real. Maybe.
      Thanks John. Neil if your a victim, Kay says you are. I'm truley sorry for that.
      However you do the rest of us no service by attacking the beliefs of the one group of people who should be on our side. Those people are the matrix in which we grew; and those friends; neighbors and family members are exactly the people we need now.
      I am no longer a believer but so what? My beliefs and yours Neil aren't the issue here.

    5. Actually I don't know anything. Just had to take down the "Arrest the Pope" group on Facebook as within 2 days of its life, it got sabotaged... A few people arguing and name calling destroyed the group. Hmm, sounds like what happened to the SNAP message board, and in other places.

      Provocateurs may be everywhere, who knows?

    6. As the Catholic League and the Anti-SNAP contingent are weighing in, let's be specific.

      Pick one thing I said above that isn't true. Pick one.

    7. Just one? O.K.. How about God? Prove God true. Good luck, you'll need it.
      Also your anti-Catholic bashing is anti-Catholic bashing.
      And the lay Catholics in Philly did not know at the time what was going on.
      And The accusation that Catholics have been coached to accept child rape; lying; bullying etc. Speaks for itself to say nothing of being coached that this was the Christ like thing to do. None of that is true. How do you think you can get away with this shit?

    8. Jim, great point. I didn't prove the existence of God in my comment.

      Another great point: my anti-Catholic bashing is anti-Catholic bashing. I am devoutly anti-child-rape, and since the Catholic church is paying $11 million to save one proven pedophile pedophile protector in this case alone, I am anti-Catholic. Of course, I never said I wasn't.

      I never said the lay Catholics knew what was going on. However, the $11 million being spent to save one proven pedophile protector is their money, and they aren't complaining, or if they are, show me where hundreds are protesting.

      Again, if Catholics haven't been coached to think this is all ok, please show me the outrage by hundreds or thousands or millions of Catholics. Lynn absolutely protected and hid at least 35 known pedophiles, yet they pay $11 million to save him, when a Christ-like church would have let all of the conspirators go to jail.

      The congregation does nothing to make the leaders do the right thing.

      Jim, for a victim, you defend Catholics and fight victims groups more than any victim I have ever heard.

    9. How many victims have you heard,you anti-logical "Harvard alumni" you? Really how many? When has criminal child rape got anything to do with people's faith?
      These were crimes commited against citizens by citizens. The fact that these perps were priests is completely unimportant. Yes it's important to Catholics stunned by the hypocricy of their own leaders but It's no crime to be a Catholic. If you wish to make that a crime good luck.
      You know engaging any of your nonsense is futile. This confusion is exactly what you were sent here to do. Bye-bye Neilly,

      P.S.It's important to fight fraud(SNAP). You want to live in a movement based on lies fine. I do not.

  7. Not bigotry or hatred, here. Just astonishment. That people continue to believe anything that comes out of Catholic bishops' mouths after all that's happened? There are so many other Christian churches where there is accountability and democratic participation, why keep supporting these thugs?

    As a very damaged survivor of these crimes, who attends Bible studies and prays daily, I just don't get this ... brainwashing. Sorry, that's what it seems like to me.

    Why keep going there after all this? Why?

    Sign me, Perplexed. And Defeated. After a hundred thousand kids got raped by at least 7000 Catholic priests in the U.S. in the last 50 years, how can people give this religion any credibility at all? I have a lot of friends who are Catholics, and I just don't get it. Why?


    And I still think we are seeing Jury Nullification here. Or Pauly Shore is one of the jurors and he likes the free lunches...

  8. Paedophiles become priests . Priests do NOT become paedophiles. A street paedophile stands a good chance of getting caught. A wise paedophile becomes a priest and knows he has protectiobn that goes right to the very top a POPE who believes paedophilia is OK , how cool is that !

  9. http://articles.philly.com/2012-06-13/news/32216253_1_defrocked-holy-spirit-school-yearbook

    Sicoli...They don't get it do they, they really cannot see that they have done anything wrong!!!


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