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Confidential Conference Scheduled in Sandusky Appeal

by on April 07, 2015 11:41 AM

Jerry Sandusky’s new appeal is underway, but its unlikely that that the public will be privy to most of the details.

Prosecutors for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and defense attorneys for Sandusky will hold their first status conference on Sandusky’s new appeal on April 22 at 11:00, according to court documents.

Judge John Cleland, who also presided over Sandusky’s 2012 trial, signed an order scheduling the conference on Monday. The order specifically states that the session will “be held in [judge’s] chambers and not in open court.”

The conference is being held in private to accommodate Sandusky’s appeal, which will be based on sealed grand jury testimony. Attorneys for Sandusky asked the court for permission to file under seal last week, which the court approved later that same day.

Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse and was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison in 2012.

This latest appeal may be Sandusky’s last chance at overturning or lessening his sentence. The motion filed last week notes that Sandusky previously attempted to appeal his conviction to both the superior court and the state supreme court – both of which failed.

The new appeal seeks “post-conviction relief,” which must be sought within one year of the day a criminal judgment becomes final. Sandusky’s attorneys notified the court of their intent to seek relief on April 1 – one day before the one-year-anniversary of the supreme court’s decision to reject Sandusky’s appeal.

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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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