Gird yourselves for a week of defense testimony in the Sandusky trial, much of which is bound to be coming out of deep left field. For the defense to hit a home run in the face of last week’s prosecution witnesses attesting to their serial abuse by the ex-assistant coach will require the crafty Amendola and his team’s best and most creative collection of fabrications.
As a preview, one of their cornerstones will be the assertion that Sandusky suffers from histrionic personality disorder, a classification of mental illness described by the NIH as “a condition in which people act in a very emotional and dramatic way that draws attention to themselves.” That’s nice, but what does it do for the defense? It might serve to explain his behavior with respect to the accusers but it does not mitigate his sexually predatory actions and it does not render him incompetent to stand trial.
One commentator noted that the jury would likely dismiss the ploy as merely renaming pedophilia. A rose by any other name would not smell as sweet, and a pedophile by any other name would not smell as foul.
The defense will undoubtedly attempt to discredit Mike McQueary, especially since he changed his story about the date of the attack he claimed to have witnessed by a whole year.
Given that 10 boys (most now men) have explicitly accused Sandusky, and that “love letters” written by Sandusky are part of the body of evidence, Amendola has a formidable task ahead of him and his team. Remember, however, that they must merely instill immutable doubt of Sandusky’s guilt in one juror as the basis for a successful defense.
We’ll keep a cynical eye trained on the machinations in Bellefonte.