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"Anti-Death Penalty Lawyer Alice Lynd May Face Jail"

"Anti-Death Penalty Lawyer Alice Lynd May Face Jail"

Mark Shaffer, Portsmouth Daily Times

An anti-death penalty lawyer was ordered to be
jailed on
contempt charges after she refused to testify before
Scioto County grand jury on Friday afternoon.
two hours after the hearing and before Alice Lynd
be jailed, a higher court stayed her sentence for
two weeks.Lynd, a retired attorney, was called to testify
before the
grand jury regarding the murder of Southern Ohio
Correctional Facility Correction inmate Earl Elder,
who was killed by inmates during a prison riot that
on Easter Sunday, April 11, 1993, and ended 11 days

Scioto County Common Pleas Judge William T. Marshall

held a contempt of court hearing on Lynd after she
refused to testify.

According to a motion to quash the grand jury
Lynd interviewed an inmate named Eric Girdy at the
Warren Correctional Facility on June 17, 1998, in
hopes of getting her client, George Skatzes,

Girdy was sentenced to life in prison for the deaths
inmates Franklin Farrell and William Svette. Skatzes is on death row for the murder of Elder, one
of nine
inmates killed during the riot. Skatzes was also
for the death of Corrections Officer Bobby
and the death of inmate David Sommers, 31.

According to the document, Girdy made a statement to
"in relation to what had happened to decedent, Earl
Lynd stated in an affidavit that she told Girdy she
have to tell Skatzes and his lawyers about his
which she did. Lynd claimed attorney-client privilege in not
testifying, but
the court reviewed documents in Skatzes' file, and
to the motion, there was no mention of an
relationship between the lawyer and the inmate. The
added that because the affidavit for Skatzes
Girdy, it refuted her claim of being Girdy's

Two weeks ago, Marshall ordered Lynd to testify and
any pertinent documents to the grand jury. When she
do so on Friday, she was taken to Marshall's court. Lynd said she did not mean to offend the court but
said Girdy
did not authorize her to talk about the case.

"He authorized you to file an affidavit in the case
that Mr.
Skatzes lost, so I'm not aware if there is a
privilege in this
case," Marshall said. "If the court of appeals
affirms this
decision, as I feel they will, will you refuse to
testify again?
Yes or no?"

Lynd said she could not answer yes or no.

When asked by Marshall what sanction the state
appropriate, Special Prosecutor Mark E. Peipmeier
the court to find her in contempt for her refusal
and to
sentence her to jail until she complied.

"This could go all the way to the Supreme Court and
Ms. Lynd
could still refuse," he said. "She might still just
follow her own
wishes and not the law. I can't think of any other
sanction that
will have any affect but to incarcerate her until
she agrees to

Lynd's attorney, Richard Kerger of Toledo, cited
cases where
lawyers could not be compelled to testify. Marshall said he would rather not jail Lynd but felt
he had
no choice.

A couple of dozen of Lynd's supporters applauded as she
sentenced to jail until she agreed to testify. Lynd
was apparently
prepared for the ruling, as she had her medications
and toiletries
in a plastic bag when a bailiff came to escort her
upstairs to the
Scioto County Jail.

At 4 p.m., Marshall's office received a fax from the
Appellate Court ordering a stay of sentence for two
"so that both parties may have time to brief this
issue in a more
complete manner." Both parties were also ordered to
memorandums with the appeal court on the issue
within 10 days.
The court would then consider the respective
arguments and
issue a judgment either continuing or revoking the

[Mark Shaffer can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext.