Having been pestered by a plethora of defense motions, Centre County Judge John Cleland was unyielding about changing Jerry Sandusky’s trial date. The show will go on, and it starts tomorrow, June 5, with jury selection. The actual trial will begin approximately June 11, depending on how long it takes to find a jury.
Sandusky is looking at 52 felony and misdemeanor counts for molesting and raping young boys.
Jury selection might be difficult because of Sandusky’s notoriety with respect to the charges, and his previous popularity in Pennsylvania, Centre County in particular. This Turkey notes that in this year’s most hated Americans list, Casey Anthony was Number One and Sandusky was Number Three. So, obviously the anti-Sandusky bias extends far beyond the county line. You can expect lots of challenges from Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s attorney. Eventually, a jury will be seated. Hopefully, it won’t be like OJ’s.
There will be no television coverage, which will be weird for those of us here in Florida who are trial junkies. We all got into the Casey Anthony trial whole hog. The judge also imposed a ban on Twitter from the courtroom.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan will be the lead prosecutor for the Commonwealth. His team has lined up eight witnesses who are expected to testify in detail about their molestation by Sandusky. They range from 18 to 28 years old now. Other witnesses will include Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who both are under indictment for perjury with respect to their testimony before the Grand Jury that indicted Sandusky. The pending charges should probably silence them, using the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination.
Amendola is a skilled defense attorney, who can be expected to go for the throat with respect to each of the eight primary prosecution witnesses and, hence, their credibility.
These eight witnesses had petitioned the court to be referred to by pseudonyms (e.g., Victim Two) during the trial. Judge Cleland denied that request, so the victims’ names will be revealed to the media and public attending the trial. There was no objection by the defense, but the motions were filed by the victims’ personal attorneys, not the defense or the prosecution. The judge said that state law didn’t give him the authority to allow adults to protect their identities in open court.
Sandusky, if convicted, will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Pennlive.com has put together a beautiful interactive breakdown of the charges against Sandusky and the likely defense Amendola will mount against them.