Posted on Jul 28, 2012
With all of the media attention surrounding the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial, many questioned whether it was possible to seat an impartial jury in Centre County. Now that the trial is over and Sandusky has been convicted, it is interesting to look back on the initial jury selection strategies.
Originally, 200 potential jurors were assembled and a subset selected at random and questioned by the prosecution, defense, and judge with the purpose of finding an unbiased 12-member jury to try the case.
Just before jury selection, Scott Cooper, attorney at Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers, said, “I think it’s hard to get in the head of Joe Amendola; he’s been very unconventional to how he’s approached this case.”
“The attorneys could be looking at what type of background they have, such as sex abuse, sex assault, their Facebook page, twitter, magazine subscriptions. I would anticipate the judge is asking both sides to try and reign it in and not make it a fishing expedition,” continued Cooper.
In addition, Cooper and others felt that both sides were probably looking at potential juror’s relationship to Penn State—whether they like it, do not like it, work there, or know anyone who works there.
The resulting jury was comprised of seven women and five men—many of whom had ties to Penn State. During the trial, the state presented what many felt was a very strong case with powerful testimony from victims. The defense had a hard time establishing Sandusky as the target of a police conspiracy and financially-motivated victims. In the end, the juror’s strong ties to Penn State did not seem to help Jerry Sandusky. He was convicted of 45 of 48 counts of child sexual molestation.
Scott Cooper, a personal injury lawyer and expert trial attorney, followed the Sandusky trial very closely and served as an expert commentator for CBS channel 21 news. If you have suffered an injury and need assistance, contact the experienced trial lawyers at Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers. The toll-free number is (717) 888-8888, and the case consultation is free.
Schmidt Kramer – Est. 1981.