There will be no subpoenas issued by attorneys for Jerry Sandusky.
In an order filed in Centre County court on Thursday, McKean County Senior Judge John Cleland denied the former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator’s request to compel testimony or disclosure of documents from individuals associated with his 2012 child sex abuse trial.
A broad discovery in a petition under Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act is not a guarantee, but there are provisions for it under exceptional circumstances.
Cleland, however, said in his filing that the defense was equating “exceptional” with “high profile.” While Sandusky’s case was undeniably among the highest profile cases in Centre County, and possibly Pennsylvania, history, that does not necessarily make it exceptional.
“The term exceptional in this context does not refer to the nature of the case — its notoriety, publicity or public interest. Instead, the rule refers to exceptional circumstances — which is a reference to some unique problem in the process of uncovering information that requires the aid of the court in the interests of justice,” Cleland wrote.
“Just such an ‘exceptional circumstances’ existed last week, for example, when I directed the Attorney General of Pennsylvania to submit to questioning under oath at a hearing regarding statements made by her and her press spokesman that led me to believe she had information regarding the source of leaks from the grand jury investigating this case,” he added.
Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse crimes stemming from assaults on minors he encountered through his The Second Mile children’s charity, did get one concession from Cleland.
“Rather than give subpoena power to defense counsel, however, I will direct the Commonwealth ... to disclose to me, under seal, whether it possesses or has under its control, any documents demonstrating any victim who testified at trial had a financial incentive to testify falsely, including, for example, contingent fee contracts with attorneys, book contracts and speaking fees, and to deliver to me copies of any such documents,” he wrote.
Cleland added that he may then provide copies of those documents to Sandusky’s attorneys or order additional discovery at that time.
Sandusky’s attorneys also asked to have access to information about the grand jury process associated with Sandusky’s case. Cleland directed those issues to the presiding judge of the grand jury, Judge Norman Krumenacker.