Jerry Sandusky's Jury

Who’s the “they” in this situation?

I’m not even sure! :smiley: Might be Everybody! :eek:

I’m just afraid of an “O.J. Redux”.

If the prosecution blows it that badly, anything can happen. Assuming it doesn’t and the victims are credible, I think it probably doesn’t matter how many Penn State alums are on the jury.

Would Paterno’s actions even be admissible?

As a non-lawyer, I would think that if the defense is making constant references to Paterno’s high opinion of Jerry Sandusky, the prosecution could easily object and say that Paterno had no expertise relevant to the case. The fact that Paterno didn’t do a whole lot about Sandusky might be relevant to the defense, but it’s not like he’s an alibi witness.

I’m just stupid and jaded enough to think they are gonna let this scumbag walk to save/protect the reputation of a dead football coach.

Goddammit, I hope I’m wrong. Been before, so there’s hope!

Penn State or no Penn State, *everyone *has a viscerally negative reaction to the sexual abuse of prepubescent children. Obviously only time will tell for certain how this will play out… but, with multiple victim testimonies, I’m not convinced you could get *any *group of 12 adults to agree to acquit him.

I’m more concerned with why (according to what I’ve read) the anonymity of the victims is going to be shattered when they testify. Aren’t there laws preventing public identification of sexual abuse victims? Or is it that too much time has passed now?

Well, the next major decision by the judge was that the victims would not be able to testify anonymously (though that is pretty common for kids in sexual abuse/rape trials). So 5 of the 8 victims are reconsidering, and may decline to testify in court. That would certainly help the defense, too.

Combined with the judge allowing all these Penn State-connected people on the jury … yeah, I think the smell of whitewash is in the air.

The accused always has the constitutional right to confront his/her accuser regardless of the crime alleged or the age of the accuser.

The DA and Defense Atty. always have the right to challenge for cause (bias, etc.) the seating of any potential juror.

Is there a procedure available involving clearing all non-essential personnel (especially media) from the courtroom, though? That way Jerry gets to face his accusers, but their identities aren’t revealed to the world at large.

I hope not. I’m sorry that abuse victims may have to relive old traumas in court - a situation that is far from unique to this case - but freedom of the press is guaranteed by the Constitution and freedom from having painful or embarrassing facts published about you is not. This idea comes pretty close to a secret trial, doesn’t it?

You’re reasoning is sound. With the COV out, the die is cast. I predict the loudest and most sincere hand-wringing court room arguments ever heard in the State of PA… followed by a hung jury.
I also predict that someone somewhere will be keeping a nice neat ledger on how much this hung jury dog-and-pony show ultimately costs the State of PA, and on the day that any DA considers re-filing, a copy will be slapped down in front of him on his desk by a high ranking politician somewhere
followed by a ‘polite rebuke’ loud enough to be heard 3 offices away…

I find it interesting that these jurors could be biased but you can argue which direction quite easily. However, in the interest of justice, I’d rather have jurors that are NOT biased (or has a strong motivation for possibly being so) so that they actually decide guilt or innocence on the facts of the trial. If there is a good chance for bias but you aren’t sure which way, its still not a trial, its just a coin flip.

This scandal just keeps on giving. Another person to want to bitch slap. The judge.

A public trial is a right guaranteed to all by the US and PA Constitutions. No secret trials are ever allowed under any circumstances.

The costs of all trials in all PA courts are kept by the county clerks of court. They are public records and are available for inspection by anyone at no cost on demand.

The PA AG and all county DA’s are elected officials. The decision whether to prosecute or not (originally or after a mistrial) is in their sole discretion.

Pennsylvania is not a state, it is a commonwealth.

Yes, but they can confront them without their names being reported publicly. In court documents, referring to them as “victim 1”, as the Grand Jury did, or the more neutral “witness 1” should work fine. That’s fairly common in juvenile court or in sex-crime cases in adult court. I don’t understand the reasoning behind not doing it here.

Yes, but I believe they have a limited number of such challenges. So there is always the fear that if yo use up a challenge on this potential juror, a later one will be even worse, when you are out of challenges.

It may be as simple as the difference between indicting someone and trying them.

It doesn’t have to be a “secret trial” to keep the identities of the abused out of the public eye. If they wanted to go to the trouble, it would be easy for the judge, lawyers, and defendant to know the identity of the current victim, and have them testify from behind a screen or something. I absolutely don’t think it’s necessary for them to be known to the general public.

Less testimony decreases the chance he’ll be convicted. If unveiling the victims’ identities means they choose not to testify, then this decision is really going to hurt the prosecution.

There is a limit on preemptory strikes; there is no limit on strikes for cause.

The framers of the US Constitution, and past and present SCOTUS’s, all disagree. If you’re interested in why, that document and that court’s opinions on the subject are readily available online.