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Not Guilty Verdict In Beating of Priest

Will Lynch was found not guilty yesterday in all but one of the criminal charges against him. He was charged by Santa Clara County Prosecutors with two felony counts of battery and elder abuse both allegedly serious bodily injury was caused. After three weeks of trial jurors found Lynch not guilty on all but one count, a simple battery charge in which the juror was unable to reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared. Prosecutors must now decide whether or not to have a second trial on the misdemeanor battery count.

I say bravo to defense attorney Pat Harris for a job well done. Lynch’s lead defense lawyer was quite clear in his feelings that the case was “over-charged” from the onset. As a defense lawyer, I believe cases get over charged for a variety of reasons, the greatest being leverage for the prosecution. When Lynch was charged with two serious felonies, he would be more highly motivated to “settle” the case or take a deal than he would be if the case was charged as a misdemeanor.

In this case Lynch accepted no deals exercised his constitutional right to a jury trial by twelve members of the community. He gambled and won. In a case where there was no legal defense, Lynch let his skilled trial attorneys do their job. His lawyers were able to educate the jury about the abuse that Lynch suffered at the hands of the “victim” in this case.

The prosecutor argued that “two wrongs don’t make a right”, but this jury was too smart for that. The jury seems to have seen the case for what it was: street justice. Lynch did what many of us would have done in his shoes, he fought back, albeit many years later. Congratulations Mr. Lynch on your victory and I am sorry you hand to suffer through a trial in this case because I am certain that what you have been going through for the last couple decades is far more punishment than you deserve.

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