Jerry Sandusky’s request for a new trial was denied by a Pennsylvania judge who rejected the contention that Sandusky’s lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for a trial that ended last summer with Sandusky’s conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
Judge John Cleland, who presided over Sandusky’s high-profile trial, wrote that defense lawyers had admitted that there was no new material that would have altered their strategy. Sandusky, Penn State’s 69-year-old former defensive coordinator, is serving a minimum 30-year sentence in state prison and has maintained his innocence. Joe Amendola had testified in an appeal hearing earlier this month that he had found nothing in his review of the evidence that would have changed the defense strategy and that was significant to Cleland.
“As a matter of fact and of law,” Cleland wrote, “I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant’s trial counsel failed to test the prosecution’s case in a meaningful manner.”
Cleland rejected, in all, seven motions, including ones that dealt with jury instruction, hearsay testimony and a comment by a prosecutor that Sandusky, who did not testify at his trial, agreed to interviews with reporters after his arrest. Cleland also rejected Sandusky’s contention that charges should have been tossed out because specific dates on which the abuses occurred were not given, preventing Sandusky from offering alibis.
The ruling is not surprising, given that Cleland was the trial judge and he would have been overturning decisions he had made before and during the trial. Sandusky’s legal team can now take its appeal to Pennsylvania Superior Court.