Posted on Tue, Jun. 05, 2012
last updated: June 05, 2012 06:59:53 PM
Nine jurors have been selected today to hear the case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Three more jurors and four alternates must be selected.
Two women and one man were selected out of the first 10 people interviewed during individual voir dire.
Late in the afternoon, Judge John Cleland reported that three more jurors had been seated and said, "We are now making good progress.
Cleland added: We are working very hard and patiently to get this done. I just want to reassure you that this process is working and thank you.
The process went quickly in the morning as two jurors were selected for the panel within the first 26 minutes of individual questioning.
The first juror chosen a middle-aged white woman who works at Wal-Mart and has two daughters was the very first person interviewed.
The second person selected was a 24-year-old white man who is going to go to school in the fall for automotive technology.
The third juror selected was a middle-aged white woman whose husband is a physician in the same medical group in which John McQueary, the father of one of the key witnesses in the case, works.
Defense attorney Joseph Amendola asked to have the woman struck for cause because of that relationship, but Judge Cleland rejected his request.
"We're in Centre County. We're in rural Pennsylvania," Cleland said. "There are these (connections) that cannot be avoided."
It appeared that Amendola was going to then use his first peremptory challenge, but his client stopped him.
"I think she would be fair," Sandusky said, and the woman was accepted.
The woman chosen as juror No. 1 when asked about her knowledge of the case, said "I really haven't been following it."
The man chosen as Juror No. 2 said his father has worked at Penn State for 30 years in the office of physical plant. Amendola asked him if it would matter if many of the alleged victims in the case would be in their early 20s.
The man answered, "I don't feel age has any significance as far as evidence or facts."
The woman who was the first struck with a prosecution peremptory challenge said she believed she could keep an open mind.
"If it was my family member, I'd want them to get treated with respect. There's always two sides to a story. That doesn't fly with me, being judgmental."
Later she said, "People make up stories all the time. I wasn't there. I can't go off what was said. People do say things that aren't true."
In getting through the first 10 interviews, the judge struck five people for cause, and the prosecution used one of its eight peremptory challenges.
Among those people in the pool who were not selected were:
a nurse who said she could be fair but also made a statement that "People make up stories all the time."
a township manager who had strong ties to Penn State and said that the media coverage of the Sandusky case tore apart her community
a woman with three young sons who didn't think she could be fair
a woman who raised 10 children and said she had a fixed opinion
a man who works as a software developer at Penn State who has a relationship with one of the lead investigators in the case.
a man who was excused because he knew a party in the case
a man who volunteered with the Second Mile
CDT reporter Anne Danahy contributed to this report. You can follow her frequent Twitter reports from outside the courthouse at @AnneDanahy.