Jerry Sandusky must be pleading guilty. The former football coach embroiled in the Penn State sex scandal and cover-up gave away a huge opportunity to cross examine the witnesses against him. He had a shot to examine Mike McQueary the embattled eyewitness who has given at least three versions of events in 2002. He gave it all away by waiving his preliminary hearing.
Sandusky’s defense team, in a last-minute turnaround, waived their client’s right to the hearing. For prosecutors, the decision is a clear sign the defense is preparing for a plea deal arrangement, which will automatically send Sandusky to prison without the need for a trial, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
A preliminary hearing is meant for the judge to determine probable cause. Despite that being very likely, locking in victim testimony under oath would have provided an advantage for the defense, which could then wield it against the alleged victims in a trial, says Andrew Pollis, a professor at Case Western Reserve law school.
The hearing provides “a window into what the prosecution’s evidence is, and it helps you prepare for trial so you can refute certain things later,” Mr. Pollis told the Christian Science Monitor. “The advantage of a preliminary hearing becomes moot if [Sandusky] is going to plea.”
Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, said he gave up the preliminary hearing in exchange for leniency with regard to his client's bail. That is a huge price to pay, unless Sandusky's legal team is already negotiating some sort of plea.
To read more: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2011/1213/Why-did-Jerry-Sandusky-waive-his-right-to-hearing-on-sex-abuse-charges
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