Sandusky verdict open thread

I took a road trip yesterday, so I missed the “moment” of the Sandusky verdict. Based on the testimony, it seemed like the jury nailed it.

Someone emailed me an interesting question:  Why did Sandusky’s attorney sound so darn happy after his client was found guilty on almost all counts?  I suggested facetiously that he was just glad Sandusky didn’t get the death penalty, but it’s actually a good question. My friend thought that the attorney might be trying to force an appeal based upon biased or incompetent counsel.  That strikes me as a dangerous strategy, since it could easily lead to disbarment.

What do you think?

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  1. jj says

    I suspect disbarment’s not an issue, and I very much doubt if he’s worried about it.  What do we disbar in this country every year?  Last I actually paid attention it was about 0.04% of lawyers.  That’s 4 out of every 10,000 – pretty good odds.  (That’s involuntary.  Or disciplinary, if you prefer.  About the same percentage leaves voluntarily on an annual basis.)  It’s very hard to find out, too – you can pretty readily discover if your doctor’s had a problem; or your accountant; or your dentist; or your plumber; or the guy who mows your lawn or anybody else – but good luck trying to discover if your lawyer’s ever had an issue.  Not even the SEIU guards the little inconvenient secrets of its privileged characters as well as the various state bars guard theirs.  And 95% of the time when they do get in trouble it’s for obvious criminal malfeasance generally connected with swiping (excuse me, “misappropriating”) somebody else’s money; often money held in trust.  I doubt if “failure to perform well in court and then looking happy about it late on a Friday night” is much of a problem.
    Somebody was speculating on TV that an appeal based on less than wonderful counsel might be forthcoming, it’s not an original thought.  I don’t think last night’s performance in front of the cameras was any part of that.  My own take was that given the lateness of the hour the verdict came in, and given that it was Friday night, Joe went out, enjoyed a good dinner, and was comfortably half in the bag when somebody came trotting in to announce “they’re baaaack….!”  Look alive, boys and girls – somebody get that ADA (or was she the DA?  I don’t know, I didn’t follow it)  a comb, for chrissake, put your ties back on, boys…  (I did, however, enjoy whoever that was onstage as part of the prosecutorial mob scene who so clearly had no interest in the whole performance, and kept giving one-word answers.  “Do you think…” 3 paragraphs of nonsense masquerading as a question.  Answer: “no.”  Whoever you were, cranky old bastard who clearly didn’t want to be there: you were great!) 
    Oh, look – and now there’s former prosecutor Wendy Murphy blathering on TV.  Hey, Wendy – speaking of highly ethical behavior – have you apologized to the Duke lacrosse players yet, for wrongly smearing and both slandering and libeling them all over TV not so very long ago?  (Yes, you did write things that other people read on the tube: both slander and libel is correct.)  Nah – no need.  And no danger of a complaint about it going anywhere, either.
    Sandusky dies in prison, which society has decided is the way to go with people like this – which is fine. Hopefully they’ll put him someplace where he has a chance of surviving until due to die, or Pennsylvania will be just as guilty of judicial murder as Massachusetts was in the case of the priest, Geoghan.  I pointed out to the state of MA at the time that if they wanted him dead, they should have had the balls to f***ing say so and simply executed him.  But sticking him in prison, where he lasted a couple of weeks before being beaten to death by other inmates, allowed everybody to keep their hands nice and clean.  This is how us good New England Puritans get to go to heaven – after all, we didn’t kill him!  Maybe PA’s a bit better than that. 

  2. JKB says

    Well, last week when my sister from PA mentioned to me that most of the jurors had connections to Penn State. So perhaps he hopes for an appeal or perhaps the real goal was to make this go away to protect Penn State. I do seem to recall there were some, as far as I know undocumented, stories about these kids being provided to alumni. Rape State may just be trying to protect themselves with Sandusky beyond saving.

  3. SADIE says

    Joe Amendola isn’t just any lawyer. Over a dozen years ago when is was about 50, he impregnated a 16-year old girl and then served as her attorney for an “emancipation petition” a couple of weeks before her 17th birthday. They married in 2003, around the same time the second child was born and have since separated or divorced (?). In 1996 when Sandusky was raping young boys, his lawyer was seducing a young girl. The two of them should be cell mates.

    Penn State fired the president for cover, but they will end up paying through the nose. Unfortunately, they have a really big nose and big connections. The case was brought to trial in seven months after charging Sandusky. Penn State already paid Paterno’s widow off with Joe’s pension ($13 million). In the end, Sandusky will die in prison sooner or later and everybody else who enabled the SOB will be paid off as well. The victims will have only a sliver of justice and enough compensation to help them muddle through the rest of their lives.  

  4. Duchess of Austin says

    Personally, in light of the fact that Paterno and the upper echelon management turned a blind eye, at the very least, to Sandusky’s disgusting hobby, Penn State would be smart to close their football program for at least 5 years, tear down the football complex and salt the ground.

  5. JKB says

    I agree, Duchess of Austin, only they should build a sewage treatment plant on the site to cover the stench that will remain even after they salt the earth.

  6. jj says

    Penn State derives a lot of money from the football program, and it pays for a lot of good – and I’m sure a fair amount of stupid – stuff on that campus.  But without a healthy Penn State you can hang out the “closed” sign on the town – and probably the whole valley.  They can get back to trying to be the potato growing capitol of west-central Pennsylvania.  So forget it: the football program isn’t going anywhere, nor will they be salting much of anything except bland food.  Thousands of people have benefitted from that program through the years, and I suspect most people know it, so while it might be in some sense satisfying to convert it to charred wreckage, it would also be vey stupid and short-sighted.   So that won’t happen.  Nor should it.
     If you want to assign blame, don’t forget the cops, either.  They declined to seriously investigate in 1998, and perhaps prior to that.  (After you’re done with the stadium, save some energy to torch city hall.)  It’s a sad, awful, and bad situation.   All making it worse accomplishes is that it’ll be worse.

  7. JKB says

    jj, very true, nothing will be done. To many culpable, to much money involved.

    They did have to cancel bring your little brother to the Penn State game though.

    I wonder if there are other states without the bias to protect Penn State Pennsylvania has conducting investigations. He took these boys with him to away games and molested them at the team hotel. We haven’t heard of Holder’s justice department conducting an investigation into the transport of children across state lines for immoral purposes.

  8. jj says

    Why bother?  Sandusky’s already scheduled to die in prison.  We haven’t heard of Holder or his joke of a DOJ doing very much of anything intelligent, but resuscitating  the Mann Act and charging this guy with it with it won’t make him any deader.  There aren’t degrees of dead; it’s not like he’s getting off lightly or something.  I doubt if it’s possible to make his future any bleaker.  Let it lie, save the money, time, and effort.

  9. JKB says

    The FBI investigation wouldn’t be for Sandusky although he would be the target. The investigation would be to identify those who contributed by not reporting and, God forbid, those who participated.

    This man raped for decades. Paterno and the university knew about it. The one instance of reporting we know about is telling in that there seems to be no surprise or outrage exhibited. So it was more a problem that Sandusky wasn’t being discreet. Penn State football didn’t produce men, it produced cattle and it’s time for them to face the meat grinder.

  10. Duchess of Austin says

    JJ…I don’t see how Penn State’s football program can survive without fresh blood anyway.  What parent in his/her right mind is going to let their star high school football player son go to Penn State when it’s clear that the senior coaching staff was turning a blind eye to the sexual antics of a predator?  I damn sure wouldn’t.  So why not close down the program, fire the whole staff and let things (like their besmirched reputation) cool?  In a few years the Sandusky scandal will be ancient history and then they can build a new program, with a fresh staff, untainted by the putrid smell of the past administration. 
    In the meantime, the school would be better served to buff up their actual education programs in the hard sciences and mathematics.  Think of how much better off the students there would be with a few extra millions to spend on equipment for research, instead of uniforms and jockstraps (and private showering facilities for pedophiles).  They might actually graduate with a diploma that is worth more than the powder to blow it up.
    It turns out that this powerhouse of football, bringing in millions of dollars, has the face of a convicted pedophile and the trusting, blind old man who should have retired long before he did.  I suppose if there is an upside to all of this horror, its that Paterno didn’t live to see one of his best and oldest friends convicted of 43 counts of child molesting.  If the allegations hadn’t killed him, the conviction probably would have.

  11. jj says

    No denying it will require fresh blood, it did anyway.  Paterno was a much better legend than he was active-duty coach the last few years, which everybody knew, but it’s tough to forcibly retire (or “fire”) a legend; you sort of have to wait for them to get the message that their time is done and go gracefully.  (Or something has to happen, which in this case it did.)
    Penn State’s “actual education (sic) programs in the hard sciences and mathematics” are in pretty good shape, thanks.  Right there among the best in the world – they don’t need much “buffing up.”  Penn State is a research university, they don’t need much help with research equipment, it’s what the university was set up to do.  And I’ve never – and neither have you – seen a time when it wasn’t ranked in the top twenty or so of public universities.  Quacquarelli Symonds (QS Systems) ranks it #94 among world universities.  The Shanghai Ranking of world universities puts it at #43.  (That’s in the world.  Out of the thousands of universities here on earth, 42 are considered better than it is.  On the planet.)  According to a WSJ article in 2010, 500 corporate recruiters were asked from which school comes the bachelor’s degree featuring the best educated, best trained, and most likely to succeed when hired holders.  The #1 answer was Penn State.  It has the world’s largest active, dues-paying alumni association, and according to the National Science Foundation it gets some mileage out of the research equipment it already has: it generally ranks right around 5th among US schools in research income.  (Over $750 million a year.  Probably more than the football team brings in.)
    So they have math and science pretty well covered, thanks.  They’re already graduating with a degree that’s worth more than the powder to blow it up.  It’s one of the best of those sorts of pieces of paper in the world.  A much better school than most that the general public seems to think it knows something about because it recognizes an athletic team.
    I’ll agree with his doctors in suspecting that it was probably the cancer that killed Paterno, not allegations of something that – according to you and many others – he already knew anyway.  And I’ll reiterate: Penn State isn’t going anywhere; and it’s football program isn’t going anywhere either.  And no parent, looking at a free athletic scholarship ride through a school as well ranked as this one, is going to refuse to let Junior attend if the chance is offered, because it includes a real shot at a career after school in which Junior might make millions in a few years.
    You have to keep the conversation rooted in reality.  Penn State is overwhelmingly a good thing to have around.  As I said earlier: if you want to burn down Penn State, then what do you do with the College Station prosecutor’s office, and the College Station cop-shop?
    Putting all the Penn State campuses together; students, faculty, etc., there are probably around 150,000 people involved in or with Penn State.  149,950 of them didn’t know a thing about any of it.  The three or four who definitely did, and the other forty-six who might have, aren’t – and shouldn’t be – enough to take the whole place down.  An they won’t be.

  12. Duchess of Austin says

    I never suggested that the school should close.  I hope their endowment is deep, because they’re going to get hit with all manner of claims and they will need it to sort through the specious ones, as well as paying off the legit ones.  Sandusky only had 10 accusers in the courtroom but now every kid he ever had contact with is going to file a claim.  Do the math….3 or 4 boys since 1974.  Could run into hundreds.
    The football program should be suspended for at least 5 years though and I’m sure that even though Penn State has such wonderful math and science programs, the would sure appreciate the extra money to spend on equipment that might have otherwise gone to their sports programs.
    I don’t agree with you though that any parent in their right mind is going to let Junior go to Rape State for a few years, free ride or not.  That program is tainted beyond the pale at the moment and with the Sandusky scandal in the limelight, I seriously doubt that their football program is where all the star athletes are hankering to go, regardless of their standing in the conference.  Sorry, but I just don’t see where it would benefit them.  A free ride from a tainted program?  Smells like desperation to me.  I doubt that they will see any *real* talent for the next few years…..

  13. says

    A few people wondered where I got the idea that the Communist party, as part of the greater Soviet Utopian agenda, infiltrated the Catholic Church decades ago, which directly led to the child molestation scandals after the Soviet Union went kaput.

    Well, if you ever wondered how such things “could” happen, all you have to do is to look at PS. Were all of the actors there “gay” or interested in molesting children? Did they all agree with the criminal on an ideological or moral stance? No. But did it matter? No to that too. They covered it up, because their power told them to do so. And it didn’t matter that they themselves were not part of the “gig”.


  14. says

    The Communist party infiltrated thousands of their members into Catholic priest training programs. Of those thousands, many maintained their status and achieved power and influence in the Catholic hierarchy. Figure out the rest for yourself.

  15. Duchess of Austin says

    Regarding Joe Paterno – Yes, he had advanced lung cancer and he was 80 years old and technically, its the cancer that killed him.  I’m no doctor, but some folks can’t take that kind of shock to the system.  Paterno watched his legend crumble before his very eyes at the hands of one of his oldest and supposedly, dearest friends.  Everything he lived his whole life and worked his whole career fell in an instant.  I’d venture to say it broke him.
    Because he was who he was he had the very best of medical attention, but there is such a thing as the will to live.  It hastened his demise at the very least, which is shameful and very sad. 

  16. Beth says

    D of A–I don’t think PS will have any trouble recruiting football players.  Do you have a son playing the game?  $$ talk as well as the chance to play.  I doubt the troubles will factor in as much as you think.  Not that I agree with it, just saying. 

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