Comment by Joey on June 10, 2014 at 7:22pm
Also known as the George Costanza defense.

http://youtu.be/-RvNS7JfcMM
Comment by captain kingsway on June 10, 2014 at 8:03pm

Hi there guys, what ever that guy says about that question does not matter at all. The situation as it  is now is that religion is interlaced with the power  structures in most countries & the leaders of the countries are usually compromised by this situation of the abuse of power; that is a fact.

Comment by iain hewitt on June 11, 2014 at 6:51am

How can this be used as any kind of defense? One of the foundational rules of British Law (upon which a lot of American Law is still based) is that 'ignorance of a law is no defense in law'. Whether you know (or knew) or not that a crime was a crime when you broke it, you still will be punished to the extant of that law.

The rule is as fundamental as Caveat Empor, Mens Rea and Actus Rea.

Comment by Nerdy Keith on June 11, 2014 at 9:27am

@Ianin, 

Well he may be using this defence, but that doesn't mean he's going to get away with it. There is a good chance he won't 

Comment by H3xx on June 12, 2014 at 12:57am

The cookie jar defense is used by anyone in the spotlight with no way out. "I don't know, I don't remember, I don't know what I don't remember..." etc

Comment by Dr. Bob on June 12, 2014 at 2:57pm

This is clearly a legal deposition, and if you've ever sat through one of those you know that the insurance attorney gives you strict instructions to be accurate but not volunteer information.  In this case, the deposition involves events from the 1980s.  The bishop is not a defendant in the case, he is only being called as a witness to events from 30 years ago.  As with all sources of information, it's worth considering the motives of a plaintiff's attorney releasing a small excerpt of a very long deposition, and the inherent conflict of interest there.

Going back to the raw data, a full transcript of the deposition can be found at http://www.stltoday.com/archbishop-robert-j-carlson-deposition/pdf_... .  Relevant section is at page 109.  This exchange comes as a result of a leading question by the plaintiff's attorney on whether he felt the therapist or the archdiocesan officials were more to blame.  I haven't read the entire thing, so I'm not sure where that line of questioning was going.

The context of the question seems to be not about whether having sex with children was a crime, but whether failing to report (mandatory reporting for clergy) was a crime at the time.  I wouldn't know that without looking it up either (it was not).  At least that seems to be what he was responding to, not whether abusing kids was a crime.

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