Monday, September 17, 2012

Rush to Judgment in Sandusky Trial?

It's hard to come to the defense of a man charged with serial pedophilia, especially when there are so many witnesses against him, like there are against Jerry Sandusky of Penn State infamy.  Fortunately, I won't be coming to his defense.

But his lawyers in the case felt the trial timeline (seven months from arrest to verdict) gave them inadequte time to fairly defend their client.  According to Joe Amendola:

"We told the trial court, the Superior Court and the Supreme Court we were not prepared to proceed to trial in June due to numerous issues, and we asked to withdraw from the case for those reasons."


Regardless of what one thinks of Sandusky, one should expect he receive a fair legal defense.

And besides, what's the harm in giving the defense more time, especially since the case seems pretty airtight?  In fact, given that serial pedophiles like Sandusky usually have even larger stat counts than they're charged, postponing the trial would have allowed the prosecution to uncover even more victims.

And there's the rub: postponing the Sandusky trial would have allowed more time for new evidence to pop up, evidence the prosecutors decided not to investigate.

Item one prosecutors chose not to investigate:

"I can give you a rumor and I can give you something I think might happen," Madden said on the radio. "I hear there's a rumor that there will be a more shocking development from the Second Mile Foundation -- and hold on to your stomachs, boys, this is gross, I will use the only language I can -- that Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile were pimping out young boys to rich donors. That was being investigated by two prominent columnists even as I speak."


In other words, Sandusky faced a speedy trial in order for richer, more powerful individuals to evade punishment.  Individuals so rich and powerful that Joe Paterno became an acceptable scapegoat to demonize as an alternative.

It's a shame (but understandable) that prosecutors lack the tenacity of a previous investigator:

The district attorney who tried and failed to prosecute Jerry Sandusky in 1998 after reports of sexual abuse emerged, has been missing since 2005 and was declared legally dead in July.

Ray Gricar disappeared on April 15 six years ago after telling his girlfriend he was going for a drive.

His body was never found, only his abandoned car and his laptop which had been tossed in the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania without its hard drive.


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