17 November 2011

Warning-- Fair Media Alert: CNA Story Covers Bishop Finn's Agreement with Clay County

Somehow a slip-up has occurred and a fair account of some aspect of the Bishop Finn persecution has been published.  The full story from CNA is here.  I wanted to highlight just a few excerpts below, with my comments:

The prosecutor of Clay County, Missouri is “reluctant” to follow the lead of the prosecutor in Jackson County because “he wasn’t going to have a successful prosecution,” St. Louis attorney Michael Quinlan suggested.  OK, this is spin, but reasonable spin.  Why?  Read this one:

“I think a fair minded jury should and would conclude that, there being no abuse victim, there could be no requirement to report,” he told CNA on Nov. 16.  That assumes facts not in evidence-- I wonder if any jury would be fair to a Catholic Bishop in this climate.  That is why the deal is good for both sides.  I agree that a fair-minded jury would acquit, to the extent we are talking about the Platonic form of fair-minded jury.

“I would have thought that this would suggest to the prosecuting authorities in Jackson County that they might step back from the brink, but I don’t know whether it will have that effect or not.”  Um, if there is a dollar or a vote in it, I would guess not.

The agreement between Bishop Finn and county prosecutors prompted criticism from Peter Isely, a national board member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.  I. Am. SHOCKED!  SNAP would likely criticize a plan to publicly execute the Pope, all bishops and priests, and most Catholic bloggers as being too lenient.  Besides, there would be no more reason for them to exist, and they just bought new clothes and all...

However, Quinlan thought such a response was overstated.

“Basically there was a delay of what, a few months? For people like SNAP and some of these people to run around saying that this is a cover-up akin to what went on in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, it’s just not at all fair.

“The diocese is the one who turned the guy in in the end. It’s not like they got caught hiding something, they turned him in. That doesn’t seem to ever get mentioned.”  Wow, that really doesn't get mentioned, does it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This comment is not to challenge the general point. Still, some of Quinlan's legal reasoning is wrong. Under the reporting statute, if there is probable cause the mandatory reporter has to report to DFS. Quinlan reasons because you couldn't identify the victims that there was no probable cause. Child porn is probable cause.

There are some better defenses but I think the case might be stronger than portrayed.