Almost a year after the Jerry Sandusky scandal erupted, the former Penn State assistant coach will learn Tuesday just how much of the rest of his life he will spend behind bars.
Sandusky, 68, is likely to address the sentencing judge, the Patriot-News reports. He did not take the witness stand at his trial, a decision his lawyer, Joe Amendola, has said he regrets. Sandusky has had plenty of time to think about what he would say and has been working on a statement that he is expected to read to the court. In addition, victims may address Sandusky, offering victim impact statements, during the sentencing hearing.
Then, Judge John M. Cleland will sentence Sandusky to anywhere from a minimum of 10 to more than 218 years on the 45 counts on which he was convicted in June. It seems unlikely that Sandusky will get the minimum, with the sentences on all counts served concurrently. As Sara Ganim of the Patriot-News points out, such a light sentence would be a “deviation from standard practice, and a shock to many jurors,” who said last week that they favor a life sentence for Sandusky.
“I anticipate Jerry will make a statement at his sentencing hearing on Tuesday in which he maintains his innocence,” Amendola said (via the Centre Daily Times). “He will not ask for leniency although I will ask the (c)ourt to impose concurrent sentences in the mitigated range of the sentencing guidelines.”
Judges typically find a middle ground with sentencing, but even the average sentence recommended for each crime would mean that Sandusky would spent more than 72 years in jail before being eligible for parole. Before sentencing, there will be a hearing at which it will be determined whether to label Sandusky a sexually violent predator, which would require him to register with authorities if he ever were to be released.
What sentence do you think Sandusky should be given? And what do you want to hear him say at sentencing?
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