Why Waiving the Hearing Was a Smart Move

This morning at 8:29 a.m., as I sat in the second to last row in the Centre County Courthouse, I heard the two words that I always heard on TV.

“All rise.”

It hit me, I was about to witness history in some form. Well, this time, history only took about a minute. Once I got word that Jerry Sandusky and Joe Amendola decided to waive the preliminary hearing, I was, as many others were, baffled. As in many of the days since November 4, when we learned of the Jerry Sandusky Scandal, I found myself asking the same question: Why?

As Jerry and Joe left Bellefonte, confusion soon turned into frustration. Many even went as far as to call Sandusky’s decision cowardice. But, after listening to Joe Amendola speak for the part of an hour, I realized something that it seems many others have not:

Like it or not, waiving the preliminary hearing was a good idea on his part.

Think about it: Sandusky basically muted the victims by not letting them testify yet. Canceling the hearing last minute allowed Amendola to use the national media platform to his advantage by holding an hour-long press conference outside of the courthouse. On a day where we were expecting disgusting and revolting testimonies to flood our Twitter streams, we were listening to Joe Amendola question the credibility of said victims. People quickly became flustered and disinterested. By noon, no one was talking about Sandusky, they were too busy talking about 1-800-REALITY.

I am in no way supporting Jerry Sandusky here. All I’m saying is that there might be a method to Joe Amendola’s madness. After you look past the emotional and frustrating feelings, it’s easy to see that this was a strategic and tactful move on behalf on the defense. Yes, its timing was an unorthodox move, but Amendola protected his client (Jerry Sandusky) from the media as well as the witness testimonies. Maybe the often criticized attorney isn’t as clueless as we all first thought.

Or maybe he is. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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About the Author

Ryan Beckler

Ryan is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He is a Lion Ambassador who loves giving tours to prospective students. His favorite activities include distributing news and consuming Chipotle.


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