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Pennsylvania Supreme Court will not release identities of 11 clergy implicated in sex abuse scandal

Dec 05, 2018 - Legal Monitor Worldwide

(JURIST) - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Monday that the identities of 11 clergy implicated in the grand jury investigation of child sexual abuse in Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania would not be revealed.

The court, citing Article 1, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, ordered that the names of the individuals be permanently redacted on Report 1 of the 40th Investigating Grand Jury indicating individuals as predator priests in order to protect their right to reputation.

The majority gave as part of its rationale for the decision that the supervising judge of a grand jury has limited power to review or approve a report made by the grand jury. Since grand jury reports are made public, the court found that it may permanently damage a persons reputation who is named in error. The grand jury process did not involve any cross-examination of witnesses or presentation of rebuttal evidence, or other safeguards under the Rules of Evidence. The court commented, Where the judiciary has been statutorily enmeshed in a procedure which may result in deprivation of an individuals due process rights, we may take corrective measures pursuant to our inherent judicial authority to avoid the infliction of such ha...