An appeal to the PA Supreme Court is next for Jerry Sandusky. The PA Superior Court affirmed the trial court and denied the request for a new trial. His attorney has indicated that he will file a Petition for Allowance of Appeal to the PA Supreme Court. The numbers tell us that such a Petition will unlikely be granted. However, in the case of Jerry Sandusky, and after reviewing the Superior Court opinion, I agree with the decision of his lawyer to file the appeal.
While a Defendant has a right to appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, a Defendant does NOT have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The PA Supreme Court only accepts a small percentage of cases to hear. Generally speaking, there are about 7 reasons why the Supreme Court would take a case. One reason stands out to me.
This case involves both a high profile figure, Jerry Sandusky, and child abuse. With these two factors present, I believe the PA Supreme Court will accept review. Specifically, this case involves one of substantial public importance as to require prompt and definitive action.
After reading the Superior Court opinion, the trial court refused to instruct the jury on the “prompt complaint” instruction. The prompt complaint instruction is that the victim of a sex crime would tell someone at the first available opportunity. This instruction permits the jury to call into question a complainant’s credibility. Since there was a delay in the reporting of this crime, I am surprised the judge did not read this instruction to the jury. This instruction does not mean that Jerry Sandusky is innocent. The court could have read the instruction and Jerry Sandusky could have still been found guilty. However, if the trial judge does not instruct the jury on what the law is, a defendant is denied a fair trial and that is what a judge’s job is: to insure a fair trial.
Having a good attorney is the most important thing you can do when you are facing a crime. You need a good attorney at every stage of the proceeding, whether it be the pre-trial stages, trial stage, or on appeal. It is never too late to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can find. Hire the Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall. /Criminal-Defense-Overview/Child-Abuse.shtml