Yesterday morning, December 13, 2011, Former Penn State Football Coach, Jerry Sandusky waived his preliminary hearing in his sex-abuse trial. This decision has shocked the legal community. While every attorney approaches a case differently, Sandusky’s decision to waive his first opportunity to confront and lock these victims into a statement is puzzling. Especially in light of the statements made by Sandusky’s defense attorney, Joseph Amendola, wherein he indicated that there will be no plea negotiations and that “this is a fight to the death.”
The preliminary hearing is your first opportunity to see how sympathetic a witness is, to determine how well that witness is going to hold up on the stand, as well as your first opportunity to cross examine them and challenge their story. It is an invaluable tool to a defense attorney in preparation for a trial.
When asked by MSNBC yesterday, and reported in Maximum News today, about this perplexing legal move, Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney, John E. Kusturiss, Jr., indicated that it is highly unusual for a defense attorney to waive the preliminary hearing if the case is going to trial. Attorney Kusturiss went on to say that while he can’t speak for Sandusky’s lawyer, if he is handling a case that is going to trial he is having a preliminary hearing. This sentiment was reiterated and shared by several other defense attorney’s consulted by MSNBC.
If you or someone you love is charged with a sex offense, an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can make all the difference. Don’t face criminal charges alone, contact the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr. online or call (610) 565-0240 to set up a free initial consultation and learn how we can help you!