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Wednesday, May 23rd 2012

8:18 PM

The Trial is Imminent

The judge handling the Jerry Sandusky case warned attorneys on both sides at a hearing a few weeks ago: "The trial is imminent." Prosecutors and attorneys for Sandusky were in court to argue several motions. The defense had already made a motion to have the trial delayed from the June 5 start date the judge set when he did grant a previous defense request for a delay. The "trial is imminent" line provided a clue that a second delay might not be forthcoming. And, a week or so after that motions hearing, the judge got around to ruling on the delay request: "Motion denied" is all it said. You can read that ruling, along with all the other motions and rulings, HERE if you are so inclined.

JUDGE JOHN CLELAND is proving to be the kind of judge who doesn't mess around. He's a senior judge from McKean County assigned to the case because every judge in Centre County has some sort of tie to Penn State. Sandusky was arrested in early November and the presumptive trial date of June 5 is just seven months later. That's the definition of a speedy trial especially when you consider that Hugo Selenski, who was charged with several counts of murder in Luzerne County in 2003, is STILL waiting to go to trial on two of those counts.

So far, Cleland seems to be pretty even-handed in his rulings, perhaps giving the defense a little more than he's given the prosecution. But, the consensus seems to be that his refusal to delay the trial will not provide solid grounds for appeal (should Sandusky be convicted and then appeal that conviction). The next hearing in the case is set for May 30 to clean up any outstanding issues before the start of the trial.  So far, Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, has brushed aside any talk of a plea bargain. So, unless he changes his mind, or unless the judge changes his mind, it looks as though Jerry Sandusky will stand trial on child sex abuse charges starting June 5, 2012.
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