A Boston judge has decided not to set a trial date in two civil cases against the Archdiocese. Judge Sweeney said constant publicity—mostly by lawyer Roderick MacLeish in the case against Paul Shanley—has made it impossible to get a fair trial at this time. The archdiocese asked for a delay until at least October and a change of venue.
On the one hand, I don’t think the archdiocese should engage in the tactics of delay, although the Church is still entitled to a fair trial. On the other hand, MacLeish has only himself to blame. The judge has been warning him about publicity-mongering, but every time the archdiocese turned over files to him, he called media circus press conferences in which he unveiled the documents, trying his case in the press and tainting the jury pool.
MacLeish has complained to the judge that a delay would traumatize his clients. Well, who’s fault is that. If he had done the right thing, then this wouldn’t happen to them. He has to take personal responsibility for his actions.