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Judge Cleland Denies Jerry Sandusky's Appeal for New Trial

by on January 30, 2013 1:11 PM

Judge John Cleland denied Jerry Sandusky's appeal for a new trial on Wednesday, saying that the defense had enough time to prepare for trial despite its argument otherwise. 

According to a 27-page court document filed in Centre County Court on Wednesday, all of Sandusky's post-sentence motions were denied.

During a Jan. 9 hearing in Bellefonte, Joe Amendola, lead defense attorney for Sandusky, testified that his team filed more than 50 requests for discovery in an effort to obtain documents from the Attorney General's Office. The defense received thousands of pages of discovery material from the Commonwealth and requested multiple continuances, hoping to push back the trial so the material could be better combed through.

One motion for continuance was granted, but a second was denied and Sandusky's trial began in June. 

Cleland wrote in his decision that based on Amendola's testimony, "it has been clearly established the defense is not able to prove any actual prejudice flowed from the court's denial of the continuance motions ... a post-trial review of the material has identified nothing that would have changed the defense trial strategy or would have been useful in the defendant's defense." 

There is no basis for the defense to claim the trial was not a fair one, Cleland said, nor did the fail to "test the prosecution's case in a meaningful manner," the judge wrote.  

In post-sentence motions, the defense said the jury was 'erroneously instructed regarding its consideration of the defendant's character evidence,' which Cleland wrote he does not believe to be true because the instruction he gave to the jury was just what the defense requested. 

Sandusky, 69, was convicted on June 22 on 45 of 48 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He is serving a life sentence of 30-60 years in prison and is serving it at SCI Greene, a maximum-security prison about three hours away from State College.

Judge Cleland Denies Sandusky Appeal by

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