By Dying, Joe Paterno Is Still Protecting Penn State

During the grand jury's investigation of Jerry Sandusky, it was Joe Paterno who provided the testimony that corraborated Mike McQueary's story, which is what led to the perjury and failure to report abuse charges against Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz.

But now that Paterno's dead, according to legal experts questioned by The New York Times, Paterno's prior testimony cannot be used during the trial.

Paterno's grand jury testimony is inadmissible, according to several lawyers, because he was not cross-examined in that proceeding. The Sixth Amendment's confrontation clause guarantees criminal defendants the right to confront the witnesses against them.

Wick Sollers, who was Paterno's lawyer, said in an e-mail that Paterno's statements before the grand jury constituted his only under-oath testimony in the case. With Paterno's death, the lawyers for Curley and Schultz no longer have the opportunity to challenge his credibility.

In other words, it's now McQueary's word against Curley's and Schultz's, unless prosecutors produce another witness or some additional evidence.

Testimony From Paterno Is No Longer Admissible [New York Times]