It could take a month just to pick a jury for three priests’ abuse trial

Philadelphia Daily News

Philadelphia Daily News 215-854-5949

TYPICALLY, it does not take trial attorneys a week to read the questionnaires from prospective jurors before ever interviewing those people.

But that’s going on this week in the largest courtroom at the Criminal Justice Center, as attorneys and Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina lay the groundwork to impanel a jury in the trial of three Philadelphia Catholic priests accused of raping and endangering altar boys beginning in the 1990s.

Sarmina has said that the jury-selection process could take a month.

Jury selection rarely takes more than a day or so. But for a trial that will feature the intersection of two emotionally charged issues – religion and child abuse – taking such a long time to pick a jury is understandable and necessary, said Marita Green, chair of Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia.

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