No Major Rulings in Hearing on Subpoenas in Sandusky Case

Jerry SanduskyAbusive BehaviorJustice SystemCrime, Law and JusticeJohn Cleland

A pretrial hearing in the case against former assistant Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, who faces 52 counts of child sex abuse, ends without any major rulings today.

The judge trying to decide whether or not Sandusky’s defense team can recover certain information about the alleged victims. Today, Judge John Cleland heard from government agencies, school districts, and non-profits like The Second Mile who want to quash subpoenas filed by Sandusky’s defense team to get more information for the trial. The judge says he will go through all of the subpoenas line by line to determine what has to be turned over to the defense.

Judge Cleland also decided to deny the “friends of the court” motion made by the National Center for Victims of Crime. 

“I think his ruling will be fair and sounds like he’s taking the victims’ rights into consideration,” says Stephanie Morris from the National Center for Victims of Crime.

“If there’s relevant information, it should be something that’s subpoenaed, but if it’s personal, then we’re trying to avoid these types of conversations," says Mai Fernandez, also of the NCVC.

While many are dreading finding out the details in the trial set for June 5th, some have a different point of view.

“Discovery is kind of an interesting thing. You’ve asked for a haystack and you don’t know when you’ll find a needle in it at all, and that’s the nature of discovery. If they were to find really bad grades and behavioral problems before these allegations occurred, then that would suggest this person is having mental issues or incapacity,” says Wes Oliver, professor at Widener University.

The defense team, led by Attorney Joe Amendola, is asking for a lot of information about the alleged victims, such as the children’s grades from the school district and if they were on public welfare. Both the defense and the prosecution seemed to come to a middle ground in the motions Wednesday. The prosecution even offered their experts to help the defense go through Sandusky's computer hard drive.

Additionally, Sandusky’s team asked for a delay of trial.  The judge expects to make that and other decisions by next week. 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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