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Judge Bans Electronic Devices from Courtroom During Sandusky Hearing

by on January 04, 2013 4:59 PM

Judge John Cleland's moratorium on live coverage was violated during Jerry Sandusky's June trial and October sentencing, and now he's making sure it won't happen as the appeal process begins. 

Cleland signed an order Friday banning cell phones, smart phones, laptops and any similar electronic devices from Courtroom 1 in the Centre County Courthouse during Sandusky's evidentiary hearing, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 10. 

Registration for media closed on Wednesday and members of the public will be admitted to the hearing on a first-come, first-served basis. 

In a support brief, Cleland blasted some media outlets' blatant disregard for his court orders. 

"During the trial I had permitted credentialed reporters to possess and use electronic devices in the courtroom as "tools of the trade" as long as they were not used to broadcast from the courtroom while court was in session ... those arrangements broke down significantly during coverage of the sentencing," Cleland wrote. 

Through research and complaints from other reporters who had been scooped, Cleland wrote, "it became readily apparent that there had been violations of the Sentencing Decorum Order by a disheartening number of reporters." 

Instead of sanctioning the reporters who violated the order, Cleland is simply banning the possession of any electronics in the courtroom. 

Sandusky, 68, will return to court seeking an appeal of his June 22 conviction. He was found guilty of 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse and is currently serving his 30-60 year sentence in SCI Greene, a maximum security prison, where he is housed in a single cell for roughly 23 hours a day.

Related coverage: 

Sandusky Decorum Order Governing the Argument and Hearing on the Defendants Post Sentence Motion



Laura Nichols is a StateCollege.com news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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