SATURDAY
March 3, 2001
volume 12, no. 62

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
www.DailyCatholic.org
Return to Today's Issue