Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Sandusky Supreme Court appeal would have no merit, Attorney General’s Office argues

The state Attorney General’s Office is fighting convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky’s quest to have his appeal taken up by the Supreme Court.

A prosecutor from that office said Thursday that Sandusky’s lawyer has not shown any “special and important reasons” the state’s highest court should consider the appeal. Sandusky is asking the court to hear it after the Superior Court rejected an appeal last month.

James Barker, the prosecutor, said those reasons are required for the Supreme Court to consider an appeal.

“Rather, he simply argues the merits of each of the issues that he raised before the Superior Court without explaining why this court should address those issues,” Barker wrote in the answer to the request for the appeal.

Barker said the Superior Court denied the appeals according to the law and that there is no reason for the Supreme Court to take it up.

Sandusky’s defense lawyer, Norris Gelman, wants a retrial for his client who was convicted last summer. In a request to the Supreme Court, Gelman said the trial judge was wrong on several matters.

Gelman referenced instructions trial Judge John Cleland issued to the jurors, saying Cleland should have told them they could consider that the young men who testified against Sandusky did not make a prompt report that they were abused. Gelman also said the judge erred when he told the jurors to consider Sandusky’s character with the evidence the prosecution had presented.

In addition, Gelman said a comment by prosecutor Joseph E. McGettgan in his closing remarks could have biased the jury because he referred to Sandusky not taking the stand in his own defense.

Gelman also said defense lawyers Joe Amendola and Karl Rominger were rushed to trial and weren’t allowed any continuances.

The Superior Court upheld the sentence in a ruling last month. The court said the jury instructions were harmless errors by the judge, or ones that would not have affected the outcome of the trial. The prosecutor’s comment could not be raised because the defense lawyers did not object or call for a mistrial, the court said.

Sandusky is one year into a 30-year minimum sentence at the state prison in Greene County.