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Monday, June 25, 2012

Sandusky Post Mortem

Today, several thoughts on the recently concluded Sandusky trial in Centre County court...

Sandusky was found guilty on 94 per cent of the counts he faced.  Given the evidence, there was no other conclusion.  The prosecution presented eight accusers, plus the people who backed up their stories.  It was a "just the essentials" presentation, and it helped the jury stay focused.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola did the best with what he had, and it wasn't much.  I can see playing the "accusers are all liars with an agenda" card if there was one, or two, or three, but all eight?  That's quite a stretch.

The police investigation was flawed, and the interviews with the accusers showed that.  However, there is no such thing as a perfect investigation.

Yes, the accusers stand to gain financially, through civil suits, and a conviction in criminal court makes that easier.  Be that as it may, how much is it worth to take the witness stand and describe those horrible acts?

Before the trial, the judge ruled the accusers could not use pseudonyms.  It apparently didn't have an impact here because no one that we know of backed out of testifying.  Will it affect other trials?  We'll never know for sure, but there are some who say they were inspired by the bravery of the accusers.

Here's my criteria for judging a lawyer, and it consists of one question.  If God forbid, I needed a lawyer, would I let this person defend me?  Amendola lost me when he okayed Sandusky's NBC and NY Times interviews.  I know the jury is supposed to decide the case by exclusively what they learn in the courtroom, but it was impossible to totally disregard those interviews, especially when the NBC interview transcript was part of the prosecution.

Some tried to say Penn State wasn't on trial here.  No way.

Newspaper analytical pieces appeared last weekend, questioning how so many missed so much when it came to Sandusky's behavior.  Hello!  No one missed a thing.  It was all covered up.  There is evidence to indicate the cover up went as high as the PSU president's office.

I saw one story that said the day of the Sandusky conviction was the sorriest in Penn State history.  I have news for you.  There are many more sorry days to come when the size of this scandal is eventually revealed.

I was a bit surprised by the size of the crowd outside the courthouse in Bellefonte Friday night.  Bellefontians seemed rather blase about the case during much of the trial.  A reliable source tells me court officials wanted the trial during the summer, before the PSU fall semester.  Could you imagine the size of the crowd if the Centre County population was swelled by PSU students?

In a statement released Friday night, Penn State said it's interested in settling with Sandusky's victims.  Smart move.  PSU will get hammered if they take these cases before juries.  They'd better settle quick, because once it all comes out, the compensation for victims will take a huge leap.

A statement from Joe Paterno's family read:  "Although we understand the task of healing is just beginning, today's verdict is an important milestone. The community owes a measure of gratitude to the jurors for their diligent service. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families."

I wonder where Joe's head was when he reported Sandusky's activities to the athletic director, and then let it drop.

Mike McQueary is in need of some serious image rehab.  Throughout this whole sordid episode, he came off as weak and indecisive, someone lacking a moral compass.

I will never understand how investigators had Sandusky in their cross hairs years ago, and failed to pull the trigger.

CNN used OJ Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark as an "expert" commentator during the Sandusky trial.  If I had known incompetence leads to a network job, I would have tried it long ago.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2012/06/22/3239176/paterno-family-issues-statement.html#storylink=cpy