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Citing juror bias, judge dismisses verdict against Green Bay diocese in abuse case

Catholic World News - July 20, 2012

A Wisconsin judge has dismissed a $700,000 judgment against the Green Bay diocese in a sex-abuse case, after finding that a member of the jury was likely biased against the defendant.

Judge Nancy Krueger discovered that one juror was friendly with a relative of the plaintiffs, and harbored suspicion that the priest who was the focus of the sex-abuse complaint may also have molested her brother. The judge found those facts sufficient to question whether the jury had been impartial.

In may the jury had awarded $700,000 in damages to two brothers who reportedly were abused by John Patrick Feeney, a priest who has subsequently been laicized. Questions about the juror’s possible bias arose only after that verdict had been announced.

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  • Posted by: normnuke - Jul. 21, 2012 12:40 AM ET USA

    Quite some time ago I was called to sit on a jury in a case in which one of the parties was a cop who had been injured by the defendant.I had gone to school with the cop. The judge called on all jury candidates to fess up if we knew any of the people involved. I of course did so and was dismissed from the pool. The perp was convicted. I am glad to this day that the judge made that call. The juror in this case should be punished.

  • Posted by: happyseaotter8027 - Jul. 20, 2012 7:43 PM ET USA

    I'm actually surprised that the judge dismissed the judgment but I am happy she did. Unfortunately, this will mean a new trial at a high cost, both financially and emotionally. The juror herself is responsible for this debacle. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial; even those accused of pedophilia and/or covering up alleged pedophilia.

  • Posted by: rpp - Jul. 20, 2012 1:17 PM ET USA

    While I understand the legal ramifications of juror bias, is relief for the plaintiffs now a lost cause? Not that I am advocating that diocese around the country should all be presumed guilty, my concern is for the (alleged?) victims.

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