Ohio Judge to be Suspended for Ruling Based on Pro-Life Views
CLEVELAND, Mar. 2, 01 (CWNews.com/LSN.ca) - On Monday the
Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on Grievances and
Discipline recommended that Patricia Cleary, formerly a
Judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, should be
suspended for two years, with one year stayed.
The board accepted the charge that Cleary was not impartial
in the 1998 sentencing of Yuriko Kawaguchi. Kawaguchi, then
21 and over 20 weeks pregnant, attempted to avoid jail by
saying she intended to abort her baby and thus should only
be placed on probation for her fraud conviction. Cleary
rejected the arguments and sentenced her to six months in
prison, preventing her from having the abortion.
Kawaguchi's lawyer and the American Civil Liberties Union
of Ohio filed a motion immediately to have the ruling
vacated and another judge appointed to the case, claiming
that Judge Cleary's decision was based on her pro-life
convictions and not based on Kawaguchi's crimes. She was
granted bail so that she could get an abortion but claimed
she could not find a willing abortionist. She decided to
keep the baby and had a girl born in 1999 but announced
that she intended to sue Cleary. The suit was dismissed but
is being appealed.
Cleary maintains her decision was based on the seriousness
of the crime, but admitted her pro-life convictions saying,
"I'm not going to be a hypocrite. I think it worked out
swell if that was her desire to abort her child that late."
Cleary's lawyer says she "intends to defend against these
charges vigorously" at the Supreme Court hearing.
March 3, 2001
volume 12, no. 62
Pro Life News