Should Catholics be jurors in priest sex-abuse trial?

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

One of the first juror candidates called Tuesday into the courtroom where two current and one former Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests await trial was a 32-year-old man who said he worked in corporate finance and lived in Northern Liberties.

According to a questionnaire the man filled out, he was Catholic and once lived in or near the Bucks County parish where one of the accused priests worked.

Next up came a 44-year-old college administrator, who attended parochial school and grew up in Mount Airy, the neighborhood where another defendant was a parish pastor.

Then an 18-year-old unemployed barista took the stand. She graduated in 2011 from Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill.

Each reflected a recurring dilemma for the defendants and lawyers in the landmark case: Should they choose Catholic jurors? And if so, how will those jurors’ own experience with the church affect their judgment?

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