BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky will head back to the Centre County courtroom where he was convicted of molesting young boys as his attorneys take their first set of appeals to the judge who oversaw the trial.
On Thursday, defense attorneys hope to show Judge John Cleland that they did not have enough time to prepare for Sanduskys trial, which resulted in a conviction on 45 of 48 counts and put the former Penn State defensive coordinator behind bars in a state prison in southwestern Pennsylvania for 30 to 60 years. The attorneys will present testimony and evidence to develop their claim.
The hearing is set for 9 a.m.
Philadelphia-based Norris Gelman has been added to Sanduskys defense team of Joe Amendola and Carlisle attorney Karl Rominger. Amendola said after the verdict in June that he may have to take the stand in the appeal process.
The attorneys want Cleland to overturn the verdict and grant Sandusky a new trial, saying the judges refusal to grant their motions for a continuance violated Sanduskys due process rights.
The courts denial of the defendants motions for continuance prevented defendants counsel from having the needed time to prepare the defendants cases and interfered with defendants constitutional right to counsel, according to one of the motions filed by the defense.
In addition, the defense attorneys have said they did not have enough time to review the voluminous amount of discovery materials they got from prosecutors in the run-up to the trial. The attorneys are also expected to say the judge made a mistake by letting a janitor testify for the prosecution about what he heard from a fellow janitor who saw Sandusky in a shower in 2000.
Here are some other issues the defense is expected to address:
the state conducted secret background checks on the 600 potential jurors and that the court erred by not making the state turn over that information over to the defense;
information on some charges wasnt specific enough for the defense to adequately prepare for trial;
the statute of limitations had expired on some charges because the offenses allegedly occurred before an expanded statute that took effect Aug. 27, 2002;
the judge erred when it didnt let the defense lawyers withdraw as Sanduskys attorneys;
the jury should have been sequestered and could have been exposed to news reports including allegations that Sandusky had sexually abused his adopted son; and
Sanduskys sentence is excessive.
Cleland can issue his decisions during the hearing or consider them and rule later.
Public seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone who attends the hearing will not be allowed to bring electronic devices into the courthouse.