By Ben Present
Of the Legal Staff
Prosecutors have asked the Centre County Common Pleas Court to bring in jurors from outside of the county, while not moving the site of the trial, to decide the case of embattled former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.
Pointing to the “complete saturation of the Centre County community” and the “special” relationship between Penn State University and the surrounding community, prosecutors said the change in venire came in anticipation of a similar request from the defense. Sandusky’s attorney rebuffed that theory.
"The unblinking eye of the press has been focused on a case which is without analogue or peer in the history of this commonwealth," Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan said in a motion for change of venire. "Perhaps an early 20th century Pittsburgh trial implicating Frick or Carnegie might have presented parallels; but truly, this case is necessarily unique."
Sandusky’s attorney, Joseph L. Amendola, has publicly said he would want a Centre County jury to decide the case and followed his comments with a statement released Tuesday.
"Jerry's case has drawn national attention as a result of which we feel there's no better place than Centre County from which to select fair minded individuals to sit as jurors," Amendola said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
In the motion, McGettigan said he did not doubt the ability of any member of the Penn State community, or Centre County, to fairly decide on the case.
Rather, any such conflict facing area jurors, McGettigan argued, would be too difficult for attorneys to identify and dissect.
“This motion is made, however, in recognition of the irresistible truth that prospective jurors from Centre County would face a Gordian knot of conscious and even subconscious conflicts and difficulties which the most skillful voir dire could identify and untangle,” McGettigan said.