Update: About 200 potential jurors were broken up in groups of 40 as they were brought into courtroom 2 in the Centre County courthouse. Senior Judge John Cleland told members of the jury pool that jurors in the case will not be sequestered, saying he will trust jurors not to read newspapers or follow the case online. This is where phase 2 of jury selection is for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
The second phase got underway around 9:45 a.m. About 40 residents were given an oath and were given numbers to be identified.
Sandusky, along with defense attorneys Joe Amendola and Karl Rominger heard from potential jurors. Prosecutors from the attorney general’s office were also in the room. They included Frank Fina and Joseph McGettigan. The questioning was led by Senior Judge John Cleland.
Questions regarding relations to Penn State, law enforcement and The Second Mile were given. Questions about whether people contributed to the university and The Second Mile were also given.
About two dozen prospective jurors had connections either through employment or as a fundraiser to Penn State or The Second Mile.
Four people say they had careers in law enforcement. Three say they know Sandusky personally.
The prosecution has more than 50 possible witnesses it can call. The defense has more than 100 possible witnesses that it can call. Potential witnesses include Sue and Jay Paterno, John and Michael McQueary, Second Mile CEO David Woodle, former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former Second Mile CEO Jack Raykovitz and Police Chief Tyrone Parham.
Five residents were excused for personal and medical issues. About 30 will go to phase three.
Sandusky’s trial is expected to be three weeks starting Monday, June 11th.
The judge hearing the case says he's optimistic that a jury will be sat. If the court can't talk to everyone today then they'll invite potential jurors back tomorrow or a following day of the week.
The judge says that jurors will not be sequestered during trial and instead, jurors can return to their homes and be bused in for trial.
After going through phase 2 in jury selection, residents then advance to phase 3 which involves individual questioning.
Each side will be allowed to eliminate seven possible jurors. Four alternates will be sought.
Jury selection continues Wednesday in Bellefonte.
Tuesday, Penn State issued the following statement about the Sandusky trial:
Penn State released the following statement today regarding the beginning of Jerry Sandusky’s trial surrounding child sexual abuse charges.
“The acts that Jerry Sandusky is accused of committing are horrible and if proven true, deserve punishment.
“In deference to the legal process, the University will not comment on specifics of the ongoing legal case as it unfolds. We are hopeful, however, that the case proceeds quickly and provides answers we are all seeking. We are further hopeful that the legal process will start to bring closure to the alleged victims and families whose lives have been irrevocably impacted and that they can begin the healing process.
“We continue to work with the State Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney and Former FBI Director Louis Freeh in their investigations into this matter. We will continue to cooperate fully with all legal processes to determine what happened and ensure personal accountability.”
Update: The jury selection proceedings began this morning the case of Jerry Sandusky. Over 220 Centre County residents were met by Judge John Cleland along with attorney's from prosecution and the defense. The potential jurors were instructed by the judge that if picked for this jury they would not be sequestered. The judge told the pool that they have a large responsibility to make sure justice is served. The pool reporters inside the courtroom described the mood was somber at times with the judge doing his best to make people feel comfortable. Jury selection will now move on to Phase 2 where from the group of 220 +, forty at a time will be taken into a secondary courtroom to be questioned by the judge and attorneys. If selected for Phase 3 a potential juror will then meet with the judge in his chambers to discuss their involvement in the case.
The judge hopes that jury selection will wrap up by Friday and the trial is scheduled to start on Monday.
It's been eight months in the making and today accused child molester Jerry Sandusky has his day in court. Jury selection starts for the former Penn State ssistant football coach. a Many experts believe the jury selection could be the single most important thing leading up to this trial. A group of over 200 potential jurors will make their way into Centre County court today. Out of that group, 12 men and women will stand to ultimately decide Sandusky's fate.
The Centre County courthouse is now the epicenter for one of the biggest trials in Pennsylvania history. Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is on trial, accused of abusing 10 children over a 15-year period dating back to 1994.
Yesterday, Judge John Cleland ruled on several last minute issues including the requests by alleged victims 3,4,5,6 and 7 to testify using fake names.
"If you allow victims to be cloaked in anonymity, aren`t you opening the flood gates with other victims in other cases to come into court and say I deserve to have anonymity," said legal analyst Steven Breit.
Breit describes the large task at hand for Jerry Sandusky's defense team. That task will start with jury selection. A group of over 200 Centre County residents will begin the three phase process today. With all of the pre-trial publicity, finding an impartial jury may be difficult.
"Given the number of jurors given the fixed opinions people have held given a number of things, I think jury selection could last a very long time," Breit said.
The judge also denied the defense motion for the prosecution to divulge information about potential jurors.
"It's sort of akin to taking an exam and asking your neighbor next door for the answers," said Breit.
Even with the large numbers of alleged victims, defense attorney Joe Amendola will look to discredit the accusers. He will look to prove many of them were troubled kids who knew each other and conspired to frame Sandusky with big dollar signs in mind. The drama is set to unfold over the next few weeks.
The judge yesterday also denied the media the ability to transmit electronically from the courtroom. Jurors are expected to begin gathering here at the Centre County courthouse at 7:30 a.m.
Jury selection will be a three phase process. Everyone is expecting that process to take several days to seat a jury. As far as scheduling, opening arguments are set to begin next Monday.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times