Checking Your Privilege, Part 4: Forgive Me Father, For I Have Testified

It’s another glorious Monday here on Lawyers & Liquor, and that means it’s time for me to shake off the relaxation of the weekend and get back to doing actual legal work while messing around on the internet and, finally, that it’s time to give a bit of a gift to all of those law students out there who may be studying for or getting ready to take their Evidence finals. That’s right, I see you kids out there, wired up on coffee and stress, thinking that you’re ready to go. I know you’re about two steps away from a complete and total breakdown. So to speed along your eventual collapse into insanity, I figured now would be just an awesome time to remind you of how much you don’t actually know by discussing the Priest-Penitent Privilege in the fourth and, for now, final installment in my practice guide to evidentiary and testimonial privileges.

Previously, on Boozy Explains Shit, we’d covered the basics of an evidentiary privilege, discussed the Attorney-Client Privilege, and ruminated on how a good marriage can avoid a conviction while talking about marital privileges. But this time we need to move ourselves on over to another form of privilege, one that may mean the Bishop can take Father Murphy’s confession and then never have to appear in court to face the accusing eyes of the altar boys, and that’s the Priest-Penitent Privilege, or rather the right of a defendant to prevent their  spiritual guide from testifying against them for things said in confidence and in the strictures of the scriptures. So without any further ado, let’s all say a few Hail Mary‘s, but definitely no mea culpas, and dive right in.

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