Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Don't mess with Judge Osowik

From the Toledo Blade:

One woman said she feels the Catholic Church "has gotten off too easy" in the crisis involving clerical sexual abuse of children, but that she could be impartial because this is a murder case, not a molestation case.

When Father Robinson's defense attorneys asked for her to be dismissed, Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Osowik agreed and ordered her removed. That sparked a brief, but heated exchange with assistant Lucas County prosecutor Dean Mandros.

Mr. Mandros cited the woman's statements that she could be objective in reviewing the facts of the case, but the judge slammed his hand on the bench and said, "I've had it! That's my ruling."

WTOL reports some additional information:

Later, things heated up again when prosecutors wanted the jury order to be re-shuffled. They believed there were too many Catholics scheduled to be in the first batch of jurors that will be questioned Thursday. The state fears that could create a bias.

Prosecutor Larry Kiroff said, "Equally troubling is the fact that we feel that, based upon the current makeup of the jurors -- especially jurors 1 through 20 -- that the idea of going forward with the jurors as they are numbered is a strategic defense on the part of the defense counsel."

"This is the shuffle," said defense attorney Alan Konop. "This is the way it was shuffled. It's sufficient, and to infer in any way whatsoever that our position is that we want a deck to be stacked -- something about the fact, about those Catholics -- I think that's preposterous. I think that's insulting."

Judge Osowik decided the matter. "It's still a random assignment," he said. "The defendant, having no objection, I'm going to keep it in the order that it was assigned."

NBC24 has the re-dacted list of the Prosecution's witnesses.

Interestingly enough Chet Warren who has been named as one of the other priests involved in abuse by the unidentified woman who sent the four page letter that started the re-opening of this case. Also noted is several of the nuns that are listed as witnesses are either deceased or health reasons will not allow them to testify.

NBC 24 has jumped on the create a banner image for the trial bandwagon.

Fox 36 reports that Court TV is ready to start broadcasting the trial.

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