Looks like the legal beagles are up to it again in the trial for Jerry Sandusky. Most recently Prosecutors filed for a change of venire which means nothing more than they want to select the jury from a pool of individuals that don’t reside in the same county that Penn State University is within. Evidently the State feels they will get a more unbiased jury by selecting folks from THE NEXT COUNTY OVER!!!! What a crock. That’s like expecting the good people of Hillsborough County to not be aware of a heinous crime committed in Pinellas. Evidently in PA they have horse blinders from county to county.
It looks like this is going to go to trial and I believe the State is making this motion to protect themselves against any possible appellate issue on point. They are shrouding this motion as concern for the community and the interest of Sandusky when in reality they want the insulation of being able to say, “we wanted a jury not as familiar with the case from a different county. We made the motion.” Yes that quote never happened but that’s what I think it would sound like. I digress. What about the practicality of selecting a jury from another county in regard to fairness to the defendant? In 1895 yes. In 2012, not a snowball’s chance in hell this is even relevant anymore!!!! I wrote on this topic in Florida regarding Casey Anthony and how it would make absolutely no difference in her trial. Despite her acquittal, I hold true to that opinion. Not only does everyone in this country watch the news, they can get it instantly online, via social media, and even flipping iPhone apps!!! County lines don’t stop the free flow of information!!!
Done with that rant. The long and short is that a change of venire to a neighboring county is outdated and in my humble opinion no longer serves a practical purpose in our justice system. Times have changed and with it the ability to truly safeguard against a potential juror not having heard about the high profile crime and previously formed an opinion. Nice posturing PA legal beagles! Done in a fashion even the administration at Penn State would appreciate.