9 reasons to be concerned about Jerry Sandusky’s jury

Jerry Sandusky (left), with attorney Joe Amendola, may have caught a break with jury. (Centre Daily Times)

Will Jerry Sandusky, with attorney Joe Amendola, get help from jury? (Centre Daily Times)

It would have been difficult to go anywhere in the U.S. and find 12 jurors who knew nothing about former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and the ugly child molestation allegations against him. But the potential problems of holding the trial in small-townish Centre County, Pa., were reaffirmed in the last two days.

The 16 jurors (including four alternates) have been selected from a pool of 220. Here’s the scary math: nine of the 16 have direct ties to Penn State and three have ties to key witnesses.

Prosecutors attempted to get a change of venue for the trial. They believed selecting jurors from a pool in a county with a population of just over 150,000 — by comparison, Fulton County is about 950,000 — could be problematic. As horrible a crime as child molestation is, anybody who had direct or indirect connections — or allegiances — with Penn State, Sandusky or defense witnesses might have a difficult time believing the 40 felony counts of deviate sexual intercourse against Sandusky.

It takes only one person to hang a juror.

Here’s a look at some of the 16 jurors, via the Patriot News:

Juror 2: A 24-year-old who plans to start school at Penn State in the fall. His father worked at the university for 30 years.

Juror 3: Her husband is a physician who worked with Mike McQueary’s father and her family has held season tickets for several years. McQueary is the assistant coach who claimed to see Sandusky with a youth in the shower.

Juror 7: A  male who is a Penn State rising senior who played for a high school football coach who hired Sandusky as a volunteer assistant. He also works for the Penn State athletic department part time and came to court wearing a PSU archery shirt.

Juror 8: A man who is a retired Penn State professor.

Juror 10: A woman who works at Penn State as an administrative assistant.

Juror 11: A woman who is an education instructor of dance at the school. Also, her husband works as a media information specialist at the school.

Juror 12: A woman professor who also has worked on committees with past and current university presidents.

Juror 13 (alternate): She is a Penn State graduate.

Juror 15 (alternate): He walked into court and smiled at Sandusky. Graduate of Penn State. Also a football fan.

Now, I will admit it’s not fair to assume that somebody would look the other way if presented with evidence against Sandusky, just because they’re a Penn State booster. But I think it’s just as fair to be concerned that at least one might be close-minded when it comes to analyzing evidence and testimony.

This isn’t about what’s right or wrong, it’s just the reality of the situation. We’ve seen enough trials in the past that went one way even though the evidence clearly went the other. There’s reason to be concerned that a fair and impartial jury has been seated.

The trial begins Monday the judge

By Jeff Schultz

143 comments Add your comment

Stiffneck

June 6th, 2012
5:41 pm

This will not end well….

Mike

June 6th, 2012
5:41 pm

I didn’t like ready this. Never thought of it that way Jeff.

Nativebird

June 6th, 2012
5:49 pm

Gee minitley, who the heck is prosecuting this kangaroo trial….Buddy Ebsen? The darn thing should be held in remote Texar-Kansas, where theve never heard of Penn state. Heck never heard of English. Next thing ya know, we’ll find out Penn State is paying his Legal fees. Sham.

SomeGuy

June 6th, 2012
5:56 pm

“It takes only one person to hang a juror.” That is indeed true.

Archie

June 6th, 2012
5:56 pm

Wait, serious question here. You need a unanimous, 12-0 vote to convict the guy? I thought you need a majority.

LDawg

June 6th, 2012
6:08 pm

I thought both sides had to agree on the jury selections. Is the prosecutor a Penn State grad/booster/fan too?

Jean Claude Killy

June 6th, 2012
6:09 pm

Tia

June 6th, 2012
6:10 pm

Do I sense some nepotism here? These jurors seem just a little too close to the subject matter.

MattyB

June 6th, 2012
6:12 pm

Ridiculous. The result will be a hung jury and a second trial will have to be held elsewhere, adding insult to injury for the victims. Stupid!

The Jay

June 6th, 2012
6:16 pm

First, the Patriot News is practically a tabloid; The AJC probably doesn’t realize that and thus using it as a legit news source as reference. 2nd, Centre County is small. Of course everyone there has some sort of tie to Penn State. That’s like being surprised that someone in Athens has a tie to UGA. I laughed at the description of Juror 15, b/c it’s just the tabloidy (<– new word) picture the Patriot news is trying to sell.

zzggyy

June 6th, 2012
6:24 pm

It takes 2 people to hang a juror – one to secure the rope & one to kick the chair out from under him/her.

Ace

June 6th, 2012
6:27 pm

Wouldn’t a PSU loyalist be mad about what Sandusky’s alleged actions did to the school’s reputation and to Paterno’s legacy? How does “going easy” on Sandusky not just make matters worse? Only a juror with personal loyalty to Sandusky is a danger, and hopefully the prosecution struck any of those.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 6th, 2012
6:30 pm

they’ll deliberate & deliberate and it will end in a mistrial/hung jury. if state can’t nab him, maybe the feds should have a shot. if that doesn’t work- you can bet penn state will be broke after a massive civil suit will be filed.

Hackjobs

June 6th, 2012
6:30 pm

Archie,

No, in criminal matters, the jury must be unanimous to convict, because the standard of evidence must lead to “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Dave W.

June 6th, 2012
6:35 pm

What a sham. Is the jury selection a true cross section of the population of the county the trial is being held in? Doesn’t sound like it.

Matt

June 6th, 2012
6:36 pm

SeATLite

June 6th, 2012
6:36 pm

It takes only one person to hang a jury. Hanging a juror would probably require two or three, depending on the juror’s size. Just sayin’.

AceII

June 6th, 2012
6:43 pm

Wouldn’t a PSU loyalist be mad about what Sandusky’s alleged actions did to the school’s reputation and Paterno’s legacy? How would “going easy” on Sandusky not just make matters worse? And hopefully any Sandusky loyalist was struck from the jury by the prosecution.

Erik

June 6th, 2012
7:00 pm

Holy crap, THOSE are the jurors?!

Wow. Seems like the fix is in. Protect the Penn State brand no matter what.

Delbert D.

June 6th, 2012
7:09 pm

Jerry Sandusky is a criminal interest story, not a sports interest story.

Time

June 6th, 2012
7:21 pm

I called a radio show today for the first time in my life. It was a XM rap show of all things. But the guest was a lady talking about how here we are in the supposed land of the free and we have by far the highest percentage of people in jail in the world. Not North Korea, not Iran. The US of A.

My comment was this statistic is just another example of how the whole system is completely broke beyond repair. Sadly, what’s going on with this Sandusky trial is the second glaring example of the complete brokeness of our system I’ve had to listen to today.

Some guy just got life in jail on a 3rd strike for marijuana possession and Sandusky is going to walk. Completely broken beyond repair system.

small town jury?

June 6th, 2012
7:27 pm

true, you can’t trust a small town jury…after all, OJ’s trial was in a small town, right?

AtlJack

June 6th, 2012
7:31 pm

Sandusky will walk 100% because these Penn Staters will give him a free pass.

And then these Penn State pukes will say he was “innocent” all along and poor JoePa
Etc

Sick.

atlmom

June 6th, 2012
7:34 pm

Ace: you are completely correct. Any penn state grads I know (myself included) – are VERY angry about this whole thing, think sandusky is quite guilty and that he has helped to do a lot of damage to the school.
Just sayin – I wouldn’t be worried about him not being convicted…I’d be more in the class of people who think that the jurors think he is guilty before the trial starts…

atlmom

June 6th, 2012
7:37 pm

atljack: you know *nothing* of what you speak. Penn Staters are not happy with this whole episode and are very angry that the administration knew something and that they didn’t do more. if he’s guilty (which seems to be the case) why do you think people wouldn’t do the right thing? what leads you to believe that? wow, is all i can say…

JacketFanMarcus

June 6th, 2012
7:37 pm

@Archie – you must be a UGA fan/grad!

You must have slept through your civics class in school…Lord help us all.

atlmom

June 6th, 2012
7:39 pm

all you people who think that others vote one way just because of their affiliations…look in the mirror. just because *you* might doesn’t mean others don’t have values, class and ethics.

atlmom

June 6th, 2012
7:43 pm

it says more about *your* ethics when you think that just because someone has some affiliation with something, they will vote one way or another. It’s just quite, shall we say, rude to say that when you know nothing of what you speak.

pj

June 6th, 2012
7:44 pm

Jeff – THAT is journalism. And this makes me sick.

yo mama

June 6th, 2012
7:45 pm

Has anybody heard if ESPN will be facing charges that they killed JoePA? the timing of his death, and the unrelenting style in which the network persecuted him was way way out of bounds. heck they even admitted to not airing the tapes they had on bernie fine. talk about the pot calling the kettle black. the fact that the coach did by law what he was supposed to do, is perfect example of how folks make stuff up to get a person fired. espn for some reason felt compelled to air talk shows condeming the coach for his lack of actions, when we all know he was told to stay quiet during the investigation. its time to destroy ESPN.

atlmom

June 6th, 2012
7:49 pm

many alumni disagree with the firing of JoePa, but I thought it was justified by what he did – not wrt the sandusky case, but wrt what he did when all of that was swirling around him. He told *the press* that he was goign to be stepping down at the end of the season, rather than telling his boss (the alumni assoc. board) – that is just not the way things should be done.
I know that those days were quite difficult – so I can’t imagine what it was like in state college, but one should not be using the press in that way.

Eileen

June 6th, 2012
7:49 pm

What a joke. He is going to get away with this. How sad.

rich

June 6th, 2012
7:53 pm

“One person to hang a juror”? or hang a jury

Scott Anderson

June 6th, 2012
7:55 pm

The defense and Prosecutors have equal shots at picking the jury. They had to agree these were ppl that would work out well for both sides. Dont see the point or concerns. This guy should fry for what he did to these kids.

chappy

June 6th, 2012
7:59 pm

@atlmom, which is far liklier to be a paid penn state blogger than an actual *mom* from atlanta,

the university people turned out enmass in support of a child molester. They skipped classes to show their support – *whatever that means*.

Your suggestion to people that they “know not of what they speak” shows you are the one who knows not.

Penn State and its supporters and boosters, and CLEARLY money enough to get their friend off with a slap on the wrist show clearly exactly how they will behave towards these allegations.

Delbert D.

June 6th, 2012
8:05 pm

“It takes only one person to hang a juror.”

That goes in my “AJC sports blogs worst posts” collection, and it is the very first contribution from one of the journalists. The statement in and of itself is undeniably true, but the intent is, I have to think, off the mark.

Tom

June 6th, 2012
8:10 pm

And chappy, you could just as likely be a Syracuse or Ohio State blogger. Stupid accusation, huh?

The Jay, and that’s exactly why it should’ve been moved to another part of the state, be it Erie, Wilkes-Barre, or Reading. There’s going to be ties to Penn State no matter where you go in Pennsylvania but at least the number of direct ties to the university or witnesses will be sharply reduced. If Sandusky had worked at UGa, having the trial in Clarke County would have been equally preposterous and I can’t imagine anyone denying the logic of moving it to Valdosta, Columbus, or Warner Robins.

Glen

June 6th, 2012
8:10 pm

Maybe they can Sandusky’s wife to serve as judge….just to complete the puzzle.

Delbert D.

June 6th, 2012
8:10 pm

Some of my favorites from the past couple of years.

“While we did lose to 3 rank opponents I am proud of the the dawns this year.”

“Epic. Like the Kubla Khan and the Mongrol hoard invasions”

“Georgia Tech is a school seeping in football tradition!”

Logic

June 6th, 2012
8:28 pm

Don’t you people know that this is not about the kids…it is about winning. Their god and hero Joe looked the other way and I’m sure this jury will also. Remember, the most important thing is winning no matter the cost.

By the way the same is true of UGA. Not so with GT…because they are not real serious about any sports otherwise they would not be in the ACC.

Jo Bling

June 6th, 2012
8:28 pm

Indeed, it takes only one person to hang a juror, but a lynch mob is much more efficient.

Football Rules

June 6th, 2012
8:34 pm

I see there are already people on here trying to defend Joe half hearted attempt to stop this behavior. Joe should have asked more questions and investigated his coaching staff. Joe should have been indicted also. But the “football is all of my life crowd” here will try to defend ole Joe and say he was innocent. What a complete joke.

Delbert D.

June 6th, 2012
8:35 pm

Hang down your head Tom Dooley.

Fix is in...

June 6th, 2012
8:36 pm

The Penn State fan club only cares about Penn State.
So a few kids get molested; who cares, as long as Penn State keeps winning!

doggoneit

June 6th, 2012
8:39 pm

This a bold, in your face, attempt to exonerate JOE PA. AND ITS GOING TO WORK

out for blood

June 6th, 2012
8:41 pm

As a PSUer, I think you have it exactly the wrong way around– the PSUers are going to out for Jerry’s blood.

RGB

June 6th, 2012
8:43 pm

This story also proves that nearly everybody works for the government these days.

Private enterprise = endangered species.

Warhorse

June 6th, 2012
8:46 pm

Sports writers should stick with subjects they have the knowledge to understand. You are great in the locker room but a novice at best in understanding a court room.

Delbert D.

June 6th, 2012
8:47 pm

“The trial begins Monday the judge”

Strange final sentence. The editors must have D-Day off.

Delbert D.

June 6th, 2012
8:50 pm

Centre county, PA is one and a half times as populous as Clarke County Georgia.