Judge Shoots Down Sandusky’s Discovery Request After Kane Testifies
After a busy few days that saw the attorney general dragged into a Harrisburg courtroom, Jerry Sandusky’s grand jury-related discovery request has been shot down.
Judge John Cleland issued a ruling on the request Thursday, following Kathleen Kane’s testimony that she is unaware of any leaks by grand jury judge Barry Feudale or attorneys in her office related to the Sandusky case, though she promised to provide evidence if it’s found.
A transcript of Kane’s testimony, which was held in private, will be released in the coming days as no secret grand jury information was discussed in the hearing.
This all stemmed from a filing by Sandusky attorney Alexander Lindsay, in which he made a slew of discovery requests, including one seeking subpoenas and documents related to potential grand jury leaks in the Sandusky case.
In response to a press release issued by Kane’s office, which Cleland misinterpreted to say that she was aware of Sandusky-related leaks by Feudale or her office, the judge issued an order to Kane, directing her to turn over any evidence of this. After finding his response insufficient and wanting clarification, Cleland ordered Kane to appear in court Thursday afternoon to testify under oath and in camera — legalese for private.
“In summary, she testified that she is aware of no information, including emails or oral or written communications, that either prove to her, or persaude her, that Judge Feudale and/or any attorneys for the Office of Attorney General orchestrated, facilitated, cooperate din, or arranged for the disclosure of otherwise secret grand jury information in this case,” Cleland wrote.
With that in mind, he struck down Lindsay’s discovery request related to the Sandusky grand jury.
“Because the Attorney General has clarified whatever interpretation might have been applied to her October 28, 2015 press release … I will deny the defendant’s discovery request regarding the grand jury procesures in deference to consideration of any subsequent request made by defense counsel to Judge Krumenacker,” Cleland wrote.
That quote refers to judge Norman Krumenacker, who currently presides over the state grand jury.
There are still two remaining discovery requests that Cleland has yet to rule on following the court hearing that brought Sandusky to Bellefonte last week.
The first is related to potential fee agreements between Sandusky victims and their legal representation, which Lindsay believes could prove that they testified against his client with financial incentive, hoping to later earn settlement money from Penn State University.
The second is related to a comment made by the prosecutors regarding Victim 2, who Penn State football coach Mike McQueary said he saw engaged in sexual intercourse with Sandusky in a locker room shower, although his story has changed over the years. Sandusky’s attorneys believe that the victim can dispute that charge, and argues that this should result in a full dismissal of charges because the McQueary story is the Christmas tree from which all the other ornaments are hung.
Whether the judge agrees with this Christmas tree analogy or agrees with Lindsay’s argument that he has the authority to provide Sandusky’s attorneys with subpoena power remains to be seen.
Cleland wrote that a ruling on the other discovery requests will be addressed in a forthcoming order.
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Though the Judicial Board has final say on the timing of implementing all policy changes, it is expected the changes will take effect for the 14th Assembly if approved.
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