This post represents only the views of its author, and is in the nature of a New Years’ prognostication for 2012, with certain implications on themes that have been discussed on this site. It was not offered sooner because of the urgency of the Conklin matters, which have been reported about, and will continue to be followed.
The prediction, as suggested in the title, is that Jerry Sandusky, and the two other fellows – Tim Curley, Athletic Director, and Gary Schultz, head of campus police – will make plea agreements to end their cases, and that there will never be another evidentiary hearing or trial related to these matters. Sandusky can already be convicted on the testimony of McQueary, a couple victims, and Sandusky’s odd public statements – the Costas one alone sealed that fate, and the New York Times one is further relevant for these and other purposes. Although the charges have not been studied, it is likely that the charges against Curley and Schultz have room for appropriate reduction in the plea bargain process, and that neither of them would face jail time – Barry Bonds recently avoided jail time, and he went to trial. Sandusky will likely have to do some time in jail, but there would appear to be no direct benefit to any of them to take a trial, and huge downsides on many levels – Paterno testifying, Spanier testifying, Courtney testifying, victims being further subjected to the process etc, etc, etc. There are huge motives on all sides, including Corbett’s, for these matters to be resolved quietly, and that is the prediction – pleas 3 – trials 0.
The prediction is made with the further admittedly aggressive suggestion that the foregoing is, or will be, an engineered result. Call it a “conspiracy theory” if you must, it certainly would involve one, or call it an effort to urge a look at this case that will do complete justice, but there are themes that have already been discussed generally and specifically herein, including our Penn State/Good old boy’s network article, that are suggested by the circumstances, and, whether or not the prediction proves correct, will continue to be developed. The prediction is just an opinion, of course, the questions that give rise to it are these:
How and Why was the existence of the grand jury proceeding leaked to the Patriot News in March 2011?
Did whoever leak it know that “victims” may go out and “lawyer-up”, as they say, to seek civil suits for damages?
Did they know that financial motives affect testifying victims’ credibility?
Did they know that some people with financial motives may actually try to concoct stories?
Why did they not know of these other victims through the “investigation”?
How and why did the grand jury indictment wind up in the Patriot News?
How does Marty Carlson get next-day, state-wide coverage of slanderous accusations about Bailey?
Why doesn’t Bailey get access for his response?
Why put Bailey’s picture in the Patriot with an eye-patch he wore for a couple weeks a few years ago when he was having a health problem?
Does the Patriot News have some kind of access to the courts, or vise versa?
What kind of media access do prosecutors and former prosecutors have?
Why don’t we ever hear more about other grand jury proceedings?
How often and when are they used?
Why would Sandusky’s attorney allow him to go on national television and answer questions about his sexual attraction to young boys?
Did anybody who is involved in these cases have any interest in Sandusky doing national media appearances, without knowing what he was going to say?
Do they know those statements can be introduced against him at trial?
Why was the grand jury apparently suspended during the Corbett gubernatorial campaign?
Do they realize the names that will be on the witness lists for these trials?
Did any of them contribute to Corbett?
Do they know that Harrisburg will be a media circus for weeks, and Penn State under the spotlight of international attention?
Why was the Sandusky preliminary hearing, which he allegedly decided to waive on the morning it was scheduled, held in Bellefonte, while the others, where there was testimony, were held in Harrisburg?
Why is the new attorney general already not running for re-election?
The questions could continue, and may continue as they arise. Of course, the answers to all of these questions are not within the power of any private citizen, save Patriot News editors, as to parts, to answer, but they all are reasonable. They suggest themes that we will continue to develop, and as they develop, maybe those questions will be answered. We have no interest or preference, incidentally, in the matter of pleas or trials, only that justice be done, that no one else gets hurt, and that all the proper people be brought to justice.