At 1:12 p.m. EDT today, the court adjourned and the jury deciding Jerry Sandusky's fate was sequestered for its deliberations, but not before the lead attorneys on both sides, Lawyerin' Joe Amendola for the defense and Joe McGettigan for the prosecution, gave their closing arguments.
Lawyerin' Joe went first and gave what numerous observers described as a solid presentation. His angle was that the victims conspired to take down Sandusky, thinking they could benefit financially, and that they were egged on by overzealous cops. Lawyerin' Joe also harped on the fact that there was no physical evidence to support any of the victims' claims, that Sandusky couldn't have had the time to do what he's accused of doing back in the 1990s, when Sandusky was still coaching at Penn State, and that a witness like Mike McQueary lacked credibility because he did nothing to physically stop Sandusky. Lawyerin' Joe also reminded the jurors of some of the credibility issues involving many of the witnesses themselves before wrapping up his presentation by quoting from a poem by Mother Teresa. "I'll be the first one to tell you that if he did this he should rot in jail the rest of his life," Lawyerin' Joe said at one point. "But what if he is innocent?"
McGettigan opened by attacking the Sandusky defense's suggestion of a conspiracy. The prosecutor reiterated what he said in his opening remarks at the start of the trial, using a visual aid to show that "fear equals silence" in an attempt to dismiss that the victims were motivated by money or fame. While former Penn State coach Dick Anderson admitted he also showered with children, McGettigan noted that Anderson answered "No" when asked whether he had hugged or touched any of those children in the shower, as Sandusky is accused of doing. McGettigan asked what McQueary's motivation would be for lying and said not even Sandusky's wife has an explanation for why the victims might lie. McGettigan called Sandusky "a serial, predatory pedophile" and closed with this: "I feel like I have the pieces of 10 souls in my pocket … boy's memories destroyed … but what you can and what you should and what you must do and what I think the evidence calls for…that he molested and abused."
For a complete review of the closing arguments, read the excellent transcript written by Sari Heidenreich of WHTM, the Harrisburg, Pa.-based ABC television affiliate.
[ABC 27; photo via AP]