Letter to the editor: Where is due process for priests?
My understanding of our system of due process justice includes four fundamental concepts: A person is innocent until proven guilty, justice delayed is justice denied, the accused has a right to confront the accuser and it is better for an accused to go free than to convict an innocent person.
Regarding the sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests: It appears that due process has been abandoned. Allegations are now even made after many years of silence, even after the death of the accused. Justice is denied for both the accuser and the accused. People are now convicted in the “court” of public opinion.
All that is required is a claim by a “credible claimant,” whatever that means. I know of no judicial process to determine “credibility,” or what the criteria is for “credibility.” Who determines credibility? Are lie detector tests used? I understand the testimony of children is used. It is also my understanding that children (and some adults) can be manipulated by an interrogator. Where there is money involved, nothing attracts fraud more than money. Also, politics: I’m sure Attorney General Josh Shapiro will one day be elected governor of Pennsylvania.
I am concerned about the devastation to innocent people. How does an innocent person defend oneself? Someone of an intellect beyond mine needs to determine how to determine the innocence or guilt of people under these circumstances, or if it can even be done. In the meantime, with current conditions, innocent people will be persecuted as well as the guilty. I think we have a dangerous precedent here for other matters.