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Judicial Observation - Assignment Example

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Name Professor Course number Date Judicial Observation For a long time I had considered court cases in black and white. It was not until I visited the ruling of the case against Fr. William J. Lynn in Philadelphia on June 21St 2012. The priest was charged with two counts…
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Download file to see previous pages The defense argued that Lynn was following the orders of his seniors as he did not have the power to designate to a fellow priest where to live. He was I was brought up as a Roman Catholic and know the ideals that the church stands for and its stand on child defilement. To be specific, the Catholic Church explicitly condemns the sexual defilement of children and classifies the same as a grave sin. In the Catholic Church’s catechism on the list of grave moral offences, the church states that perpetration of sexual abuse by grownups to children they are entrusted to care causes lifelong physical harm as well as damage to the moral integrity of the victims. The church also condemns the irresponsibility of the abusers as they violate their duty of bringing up the children properly. I have had positive relationship with the clergy for a long time. I also happened to know Monsignor Lynn at a personal level. All these factors made me convinced of the priest’s innocence. However, I had carefully followed the proceedings of the case on T.V. and knew that serious evidence had been leveled against the priest and knew that he was in a serious matter. Monsignor Lynn had previously worked as an aide to Cardinal Bevilacqua was a high ranking priest. It was a solemn occasion. Lynn walked just before the sentence. He was dressed in a gloomy black clerical shirt with a white collar that suggested that he anticipated the sentence. Before the sentence was read, Lynn was allowed to make a three-minute personal statement In the statement he said that he had been a priest for thirty six years and had done his best to help people. He then turned toward the victim’s friends and relatives and told them that he hoped someday they will be in a position to forgive him. The 12-member jury’s ruling was then read by Judge Teresa Sarmina in a lengthy, eloquent and well detailed. The ruling acquitted Lynn of conspiracy. He was however sentenced for three to six years for the second count of endangering children. The judge convicted the priest of allowing predatory priests whom she referred to as ‘monsters in garb’ access to children and covering up for them. Throughout the reading of Monsignor Lynn sat soberly while his grief-stricken relatives cried all through the reading. In the public gallery where I was, the air was tense as the members of the public tried to internalize the judgment. Following the ruling, Judge Sarmina revoked Lynn’s bail. It was another sober moment when Lynn removed his garb and was led away to a holding cell by Sheriff’s deputies. In my view the sentence was also largely affected by public opinion who enraged by the abuse inflicted upon children by wayward priests were baying for the monsignor’s blood. The court had to go in line with this. When observed critically, the sentencing was not at all fair. The monsignor was sentenced for the abuse of a person he had never met and whom he did not know in way. His apology was an acceptance of his sentence and should be viewed as such and not as an admission of guilt. Some members of the jury’s demeanor during the sentence reading showed some doubt indicating that probably some of them had given the sentence out of public pressure to do the same and out of their perceived duty of holding a high ranking Church official responsible for the inappropriate conduct of the priests on the ground. Seth Williams, the district attorney’s speech outside the court room after the sentencing was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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