Jerry Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola appeals to Superior Court for new trial

mdawson@centredaily.comFebruary 22, 2013 


Jerry Sandusky leaves the courthouse Thursday, June 21, 2012, following the closing arguments of his sexual abuse trial, at the Centre County Courthouse, in Bellefonte, Pa. Centre Daily Times/Nabil K. Mark

Jerry Sandusky's lawyer will ask the state's Superior Court to overturn the conviction of the former Penn State assistant coach and grant a new trial.

Joe Amendola gave written notice Thursday that he will appeal trial Judge John Cleland's decision last month that denied a slew of defense requests that included tossing out the verdict and retrying Sandusky.

Amendola’s attempts for a new trial were based on his assertion he did not have enough time to prepare Sandusky’s defense because the judge did not give him continuances. Amendola testified at a hearing in January that he had thousands of documents to review, but under cross-examination Amendola testified much of the documents were irrelevant.

The judge rejected the request, saying the State College lawyer failed to show how Sandusky’s defense was compromised.

“As both a matter of fact and of law, I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant’s trial counsel failed to test the prosecution’s case in a meaningful manner,” Cleland wrote in his decision. “The defendant’s attorneys subjected the commonwealth’s witnesses to meaningful and effective cross-examination, presented evidence for the defense and presented both a comprehensive opening statement and a clearly developed closing argument.

Cleland also denied the defense’s request to throw out the counts from Victim 8, a young boy a janitor saw Sandusky abusing in a shower in 2000. The janitor could not testify at trial, but a co-worker of the janitor did testify, and the defense argued that the hearsay testimony should not have been allowed.

Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 counts of child abuse, and Amendola vowed the night the verdict was reached that he would seek appeals for his client, who has maintained his innocence in front of the judge and from behind bars.

Sandusky is in solitary confinement in the state prison in Greene County where he is serving a 30-to-60-year sentence.


Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.

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