Why did Sandusky go to trial (instead of pleading guilty)?

I have read a medium amount about this case, so maybe this issue has been covered well somewhere, but I just don’t see why the dude went to trial instead of pleading guilty.

It doesn’t look like he mounted that much of a defense. He would have to know the basic content of the prosecution’s case (including that he seems to have had a signature move with the whole “let’s lift you up to rinse off your hair” thing : pukey: ), and just gambling on the prosecution’s witnesses not showing up (or the prosecution otherwise being unable to prove its case) seems insane.

In addition to getting the same long prison sentence he would have gotten with a guilty plea, he gets all the details of his offenses aired in public. I just don’t understand it.

Was there any plausible legal strategy to going to trial in this case?

My guess would be that when you get away with doing something for that long, you truly believe you’re innocent. An act will seem wrong in the beginning and then, the more you do it & create justification for it, it stops feeling “wrong” which reinforces your belief in your own innocence. I bet if you asked him today if he was guilty, he’d still say no. Not saying that to excuse him, of course.

As far as a plausible legal strategy, I have no idea. I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on tv.

Always depends on what the plea deal was. He had 48 charges against him in a public case - I would be surprised if the plea deal was anything less than life at prison. At that point, there’s really nothing to lose by going to trial.

Besides, with the way the court system works, one tiny little detail can invalidate a shitload of evidence, so maybe he was hoping for something like that. And I’m assuming his lawyer was happy to be part of a famous trial. At least, I can’t think of any other reason someone would have taken that case.

Yeah, I agree with magnusblitz. In a case like this, the prosecution is probably not going to offer anything less than what will amount to a life sentence. He’s got nothing to lose by rolling the dice with a jury–and there is also a possibility of appeal, which does not exist with a guilty plea. I did not follow the trial closely, but I’m hearing some noise about a possible issue with a video shown during the trial, and another issue with the defense claiming insufficient time to prepare.

I think the most likely answer was “he was not offered a plea that was more attractive than going to trial” but one also cannot rule out that he went to trial against legal advice. Some people just want to dig their own graves.

Let’s not forget that many plea deals involve an allocution of your exact wrongdoing, which becomes a public record.

This pretty much. He’s been fucking and molesting kids for decades and has slipped the noose multiple times. His luck at not getting put away so far (based on the accounts) is nothing short of incredible. He’s been rolling the dice and coming up winners all his life… until now.

Based on Sandusky’s phone interview with Bob Costas, he struck me as someone who wasn’t really in touch with reality or the publics perception of him. So that could be part of it.

Sandusky is almost 70, so if he had pled guilty he would’ve died in prison anyway, there is no way he was facing less than 20 years. So I guess he had nothing to lose. Plead guilty and die in prison of old age, go to trial and die in prison of old age but have a tiny chance that there will be a hung jury. That is my assumption.

I have a theory. I think he wanted the facts to come out about the Penn State officials. He wanted them to go down, plus the school to pay the kid. The prez was involved in covering up a pedo situation in nebraska. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a ring.

You think there is a pedophile ring consisting of high ranking administrators at Penn State University? Based on what?

I would have never believed it, but Graham Spanier, the president of Penn State who helped cover up Sandusky’s mess, was at the University of Nebraska during the Franklin Scandal and was close friends with Rosken, The UN President, who was heavily involved in that pedophilia ring.

You can spend days reading about the Franklin Scandal. It was a known fact but it borders on a conspiracy theory because there are whispers connecting it to Dubya. and other high ranking officials. I am not a big conspiracy guy, but those connections are too over the top to be false. He covered up a pedo predator and was close and worked with one who headed up a ring. It is a known fact that these pedo rings exist. I doubt Bush was involved, but the other facts stand.
Also I have my theory on why McQeary didnt run to the cops. Sandusky was a father figure to him, for he was a close friend of the family, and was probably molested himself. Also, He probably knew about the network.

My guess has been that he wasn’t offered a plea bargain at all. For a case as high-profile as Sandusky’s, I’m not sure that the prosecutor would want to make any plea offer, for fear of it being taken by the public as, “Oh, look, the DA is acting just like Penn State, trying to make this go away without putting the screws to him.” Better to let a jury send him away to satisfy the public need for justice.

Maybe he just wanted to abuse his victims one last time by putting them on the stand.

Because he is a large steaming pile of shit. I kept trying to form a reasoned response to this question, but it kept coming back to that point.

You almost never plead guilty at arraignment, even if you were caught on camera by a priest, plunging a knife into the face of an orphan, with your driver’s license in your hand. A lawyer will most often tell you to plead not guilty and try for a plea bargain deal. Sandusky is, IMO, deluded enough to think a jury would exonerate him, so went to trial when a plea deal wasn’t forthcoming. His lawyers certainly tried to worm out of representing him, so they knew damn well they had no case.

People are conflating “plea deal” with “pleading guilty”. A plea deal is when you agree to plead guilty in return for some consideration–like a lighter sentence. It makes sense that they wouldn’t offer him such a thing, or that he wouldn’t take it because he couldn’t stand to stand up and admit his guilt in court. But they couldn’t stop him from just flat out pleading guilty, or, AFAIK, no lo, and I can see doing that just to avoid the trauma and shame of a trial.

I get the same feeling–in the few interviews I have seen of him, he seems not “all there,” like he has the mind of a ten-year-old.

Ouch. Maybe? Was he awful enough to think that if they were going to expose what he did to them, he was going to make them “out” themselves? :frowning:

Agree. Once an asshole, always an asshole.

He wanted to stay out on bail for a little while?