Sandusky Retrial Request Complicated By Attorney General's Office

Oct 29, 2015

Alexander Lindsay, lawyer for Jerry Sandusky, speaks to reporters after the hearing.
Credit Eleanor Klibanoff / WPSU

Jerry Sandusky returned to court today for the first time since he was sentenced in 2012. He's currently serving 30 to 60 years in state prison for the molestation of multiple boys, a crime he committed while an assistant football coach at Penn State. 

Today's hearing was a post-conviction relief hearing, where Sandusky's lawyers hoped to reopen aspects of the case. Alexander Lindsay, Sandusky's lawyer, asked Judge John Cleland for subpoena power to re-interview victims. Lindsay claims that Sandusky was poorly represented the first time and that grand jury leaks complicated the case. 

The hearing was expected to be fairly straightforward. But last night, the office of the Attorney General issued a press release accusing Judge Barry Feudale of distributing confidential grand jury information to the media. Feudale oversaw the grand jury on the Sandusky case. 

The office of Kathleen Kane released a series of e-mails between Feudale and Philadelphia Inquirer reporters that the Attorney General claims demonstrate judicial misconduct. The e-mails released don't show Feudale giving any confidential information, but rather discussing the possibility. Kane had Feudale removed from his position soon after she began her tenure. 

At today's hearing, deputy attorney general Jennifer Peterson said she believed those accusations were not associated with the Sandusky case. Judge Cleland ordered Kane to present evidence of grand jury tampering or leaks by Wednesday, November 4th at 10 a.m. He made no decision in the Sandusky post-conviction relief hearing, but Lindsay said this was good news for their case.

"There was an allegation of prosecutorial abuse, and when there is prosecutorial abuse, the remedy is to dismiss the charges," Lindsay said in a press conference after the trial. "It doesn't have anything to do with the credibility of the witnesses." 

The office of the Attorney General released a written statement saying that "Mr. Sandusky's arguments lack merit and he has failed to demonstrate that exceptional circumstances exist to warrant his discovery request."