Check out the enclosed article from the Legal Intelligencer. It shows how difficult it is to get and hold on to a criminal conviction in the case of a church administrator not directly involved in these heinous acts.
The first Catholic Church administrative official convicted of endangering the welfare of children abused by other priests will get another chance at trial under a Pennsylvania Superior Court decision.
Well that caption says it all.
And here is the explanation for it according to the article:
A split three-judge panel of the state Superior Court on Tuesday vacated the sentence of Monsignor William J. Lynn, who was previously sentenced to three to six years’ incarceration. Along with reversing the sentence, the ruling in Commonwealth v. Lynn remanded Lynn’s case for a new trial.
The majority opinion, written by Judge John T. Bender, said the trial court had admitted a “high volume of unfairly prejudicial other-acts evidence.”
“A limited portion of that evidence was substantially relevant to, or probative of, permitted uses under Rule 404(b)(2), but far more was only marginally relevant for such purposes,” Bender said. “The potential for this evidence to unfairly prejudice appellant was high, both because it involved the sexually abusive acts of numerous priests committed against children over several decades, and because of the high volume of the evidence admitted.”
This is the second time the Superior Court has reversed a portion of the lower court’s proceedings against Lynn.
In December 2013, the court reversed Lynn’s conviction on sufficiency grounds.
Lynn, who had served as secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, had been convicted under an earlier version of Pennsylvania’s law criminalizing endangerment of the welfare of children.
First full disclosure.
- I am a Catholic.
- If what is alleged is accurate, Pittsburgh wrongful death, car accident and criminal defense attorney Bernie Tully would have no problem convicting the Monsignor for what he did.
Turning a blind eye to these terrible acts is hardly a defense.
But notice what happened here legally.
Not once but twice the Pennsylvania Courts threw out decisions made by a jury on technical grounds.
I think what this shows in part, is that when a criminal case is heard by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, they will not get involved emotionally in the allegations against the priest.
Instead, they will just look at the cold hard record of all of the testimony in the case and make a ruling based on that alone.
They also will not be swayed by public opinion either way.
In this case public opinion was clearly in favor of convicting the Monsignor and sending him to jail for a very long period of time.
But instead the Pennsylvania Superior Court ordered a new trial for him.
What do you think of their decision?
I really want to know.
Anyway, thanks for reading.
You readers are the best.
Bernie the attorney.
Read more: http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202745543241/Lynns-Sentence-Tossed-Again-by-Superior-Court#ixzz3vOdOjxLo