Sandusky lawyers claim insufficient time to prep
AP and Reuters
June 25, 2012, 2:32 pm TWN
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania -- Lawyers for former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky say they tried to quit at the start of jury selection in his child sex abuse trial because they weren't given enough time to prepare, raising an argument on the trial's speed that could become the thrust of an appeal.
And one of the jurors who convicted Sandusky of 45 child sex abuse counts said Saturday he was swayed by the "very convincing" testimony of eight accusers who said Sandusky molested them for years.
"It's hard to judge character on the stand, because you don't know these kids," juror Joshua Harper told NBC's "Today" show. "But most were very credible — I would say all."
A day after Sandusky's conviction, his lawyers disclosed that they felt too unprepared to adequately defend him because of how quickly the case was brought to trial. Experts have said the seven months between Sandusky's November arrest and trial was fast-paced by Pennsylvania standards.
"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," attorney Joe Amendola told The Associated Press.
The issues included a scheduling conflict with a defense team member and the need to read a cache of documents produced by a lengthy grand jury investigation. Judge John Cleland denied their request.
The attorneys raised other issues that could be part of the future appeal, saying a mistrial was sought and denied over a repetition at trial of a brief part of a November interview Sandusky had with NBC's Bob Costas.
Until his next court date, Sandusky is one of 272 inmates at the Centre County Correctional Facility, seven miles (11 kilometers) from the Penn State campus. He is allowed access to some personal items including a prayer book, and can get visits.
One of Sandusky's lawyers, Karl Rominger, said on Saturday that the former coach was under individual guard at the county jail, known as suicide watch, and was apart from the general prison population.
Rominger reiterated that Sandusky will appeal the verdict but this cannot be done until he is sentenced in 90 days or so.
Jurors in the two-week trial convicted Sandusky of 45 of the 48 counts against him.