AZ Bishop Gets Immunity in Priest Sex Abuse Scandal
Threatened with criminal indictment for concealing pedophilic priests, Bishop Thomas O'Brien of the Diocese of Phoenix signed an agreement early last month, securing his own immunity from prosecution. Under terms of the agreement with Maricopa County Attorney’s office, O'Brien admitted he allowed priests accused of abuse to continue working with children and transferred them without disclosing information about allegations against them, reported the Arizona Republic. The agreement bars O'Brien—- who was denied resignation by the Vatican—- from handling accusations of priest sex abuse. Instead, he will relinquish limited authority to newly appointed officials, including a chief of staff, a youth protection advocate, and a special counsel. While terms also stipulate payment for victims' counseling by the diocese, David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, expressed disappointment with the deal’s outcome, telling the Arizona Daily Star, "It’s very troubling... Had there been true repentance and conversion last summer, O'Brien and the other bishops would have come clean months ago."
The Phoenix Diocese serves nearly 500,000 Catholics. Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley yesterday said two other priests in the diocese could face charges.
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/2/03, 6/3/03; Arizona Daily Star 6/3/03; Arizona Republic 6/3/03
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .