Jun 14, 2012|
Sports Illustrated Legal Analyst Michael McCann joined Dennis and Callahan this morning to discuss the progress of the ongoing Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse trial. McCann discusses why Sandusky chose a trial over plea deal, the missed opportunities of the defense, and what could happen to Dottie Sandusky. McCann also touches on the Roger Clemens trial and what the verdict could be.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
To say that Sports Illustrated is legal eagle Michael McCann has been a busy fellow these past few weeks almost in the two months now with Roger clemens' trial drawing on would be the understatement of the year. McCann joins us on the AT&T hotline AT&T four GL TE according Michael how are you. 25 to nothing one team in sandusky just waves a white flag and -- -- Grata here he's guilty were done I mean it's it's not going well for the send -- side now is. Now it's been -- -- so hard now it is true it's only the prosecution side. At this point and conduct he will have an opportunity to present its case next week and and he may have a hundred witnesses potentially -- I don't think that's going to be the case lawyers -- that he plans on calling a ton of people including sandusky himself. But so far it's been an absolute -- And I think there are real questions about the defense strategy I think there were missed opportunities I think what John mcqueary Mike McQueary data to understand. The defense really missed an opportunity disable like you're forgetting that you testified at a preliminary hearing. If you're now saying you can recall with precision what you heard ten years ago I think one it's around so far into the defense that played poorly if you will. Were you surprised Mike that they allowed the hearsay evidence from the other Jenner. -- -- -- one level not because there's an excited utterance exception to be hearsay rule. And that -- had told the other -- senator in essence you know I can't believe I saw this that probably -- since -- -- stay exception on the other hand you know. Why -- did because there are already is already tons of testimony. Implicating sandusky. This is gonna give Joseph Amendola an opportunity on appeal to argue. This evidence you've ever been admitted by client was wrongly convicted. I don't think that's gonna work I actually think that the ruling was correct but it was risky I don't think there's a need to take these kinds of risk after the judge. Do you think that there was no deal ever on the table because it appears to be a waste of everybody's time this trial may be it's. And a chance for that victims can unburden themselves of all this this. Maybe this pain and guilt and everything else but. -- he's not get enough he's not gonna walk is not can be hung jury he's gonna get convicted he's gonna spend the rest of his life in jail why we go through this Mike. -- I think part of it is the fact that there was no plea deal that would make sense for sandusky a 68 years old. The the government wasn't gonna let him get off in terms of you know off 5% to turn things like that that if he did a plea deal he would be imprisoned the rest of his life so is. It's tactic is probably why not just slighted what do I have to lose if I -- and -- go to jail pressed my life. If I do a plea deal and they go to the jail the rest my life there was no real incentive for him to do plea deal. And for that reason he's willing to sit there and listen and have it in deep tell laid out exactly what he did all these victims. It's it's terrible -- it is I don't moral level I absolutely agree I think it's -- to go through this to make the victims recall what happened. It's absolutely devastating it is and like Jerry you said it's a waste of tax resources. On the other hand conduct these figures he has a right to a trial this is our process works. And I imagine his defense will have some interesting wrinkle to it and I imagine when he testifies assuming he does testify. Who knows what he's gonna -- says it you know it's one of those what they're loose type. New strategies up from your perspective Michael what has been the I -- moment of the trial so far or has that yet to happen. Well I think want to ha moment was it was what I said earlier which we job McCrery when he testified and he said you know I don't recall. Testifying at a preliminary hearing last December. I was just shocked that the government rather the defense didn't go after that yes what what are you talking not remember that and now you're saying you talked to Gary Schultz. The former vice president. About what happened with yourself on the Internet Paterno knew earlier I also think another aha moment is the level of knowledge that Joseph Paterno apparently had. And I think this really obviously speak poorly of him but more than that it goes that what I think will be an overwhelming glossy. Brought by the victims against and stated it if we believe what we've heard so far and obviously there's a caveat to that. It looks like Penn State had a lot of knowledge and they didn't do a whole lot about it. And why is that a bad thing that I know Amendola is grasping at straws. But that try to discredit the witness or having a civil lawyer or in an impending. To bring a civil suit will why the hell wouldn't you just heard the kids told pretty. Why wouldn't he want to be compensated for all his pain and suffering. Should he absolutely should they Amendola probably figured that's not his concern. And I think when the defense present its case it via the blame will be directed towards Penn State and I think also the dissent is gonna say. How could -- how could he. Penn State a school that many of the jurors probably have positive feelings about considering that the number of jurors who have relationships that institutions. How content they really have let this happen how can all of these terrible things. How many shower incidents were there and I think that's gonna be part of the defense is to say he can't believe it because you know Penn -- is better than that. You in your pre trial posting Michael and SI dot com described the defense as -- dole in particular. Area is known as a skilled defense attorney who was unafraid to employ unconventional and -- strategies. And to that I would respond when they sentence that he used I believe on day two of the trial. When he stood up and said. Jerry sandusky loves people I'm sorry loves young people so much he does things that other people could not imagine. Now is that the worst choice of words given us that that that the state of of disrepair that this defense is in to say he loves young people so much he does that things with them that other people could imagine. That's just like a Smart comment for defense attorney to make. There are probably of them but it but I think what he wants to say John it sort of the Michael Jackson defense when Jackson was accused. Of molesting children in the home is to say that this is somebody who it awkward peculiar ways. It's so fond of children that hill hill. Have relations with them. In ways that most of us would appropriate but nonetheless. A criminal record and made it better and better not criminal maybe their. There's civilly wrong and maybe they can trigger tort lawsuits. But they're not criminal I think this is what what -- -- -- -- he testified he's gonna make this point he's gonna say look I loved children so much. That maybe across the slide in terms of appropriateness but I would never do anything to harm. That's a great approach you run with that yet with that it let them too much Mike took a new -- give us a primer as to how the prosecution sets up their lineup. Of witnesses obviously they came out of the box with two blockbuster -- the calm down a little bit with a three yesterday it will they end with a couple blockbusters at the end. I think they -- I think the remaining victims are gonna go up there and and likely have similarly incriminating evidence. I take over at this point most of the thrust is already gone that the government I think is confident that. They've shown that sandusky is a predator these these witnesses these victims. Have been very credible and I and I think there were some skepticism as to how credible they would be particularly so many years after the fact. That they've actually been excellent witness to them and also -- dole out in other defense lawyers haven't been able to undercut them. -- and do you still think he's a skilled defense lawyer. Well you if you look at his career he's had some success to be -- the totality of his work in Pennsylvania. His reputation is such that that people respect him as taking chances. But I think in this trial there are real questions and also the Bob Costas interview yes the mistake fact that it was. Played in court you know that was a terrible idea is sometimes taking chances sometimes the best strategy is to not take chances. And I think he went a little. Two unconventional. We know that some others are facing criminal charge at least we hope Schultz and Spaniard I believe. -- send -- is there any way and there are places. Where you can be charged for not reporting not stopping a crime. Is anywhere they can find some statute that she violated by allowing her husband. This this whatever -- -- twenty year reign of arrow with young children she clearly is an evil woman can they charge you with something Mike. I think it's going to be talked -- because of -- spousal privilege could you're not obligated reported -- -- -- that they commit wrongdoing generally although there are exceptions to that particularly if you know -- does is about to do something off. Criminal and inflict either death or bodily harm. I think it's going to be tough to charge her and I think politically they won't do so I do think bill that she could appear to civil lawsuit. Yet this can lose the house you know and he -- won't -- -- the playground anymore hey. What are you enough and we all know he's gonna get convicted. Give -- sure prediction for Roger Clemens I was wondering if in the closing statements his lawyer might say hey. -- -- not send husky you know that's that's real crime this is nothing it just seems like small potatoes 'cause the ball you know juxtaposed the next to each other at the same time. Well you're -- -- however the fact that equipment trial -- the -- and weeklong. Tax dollars spent on that vs and that's huge will be two to three weeks. Yeah well where our priorities like one trial so much. Such as such they're important given so much less time in court. But I think Clemens has a decent shot of being found not guilty and I say that not to get that -- -- good thing. That they are confident in him I think they have some real questions about Brian McNamee. That is the defensive end and Rusty Hardin in particular I think he deserves credit. Really went after Brian McNamee they had and particularly putting up Brian McNamee is life. Estranged wife -- contradicted him. You know I I think that may give jurors enough reason to say. Let's find him not guilty but like -- Barry Bonds they can get among one count obstruction of justice in this case -- obstruction of congress. Where you can still convict him but it's unlikely that would trigger any kind of prison sentence. Now what. What would you teaching your little -- little law classes about this cause we all know Clemens is guilty we all know we did we all know he lied to congress and if you think he's gonna walk. Again I think the lesson is. Everyone gets a fair trial everyone has a shot to prove their case and that that the burden of guilt thing criminal cases. Is more than were very short it it says we value almost beyond a reasonable doubt that we're willing. To have such a high threshold because we're so concerned with the possibility that somebody can be wrongfully convicted. I understand look you know obviously the vast majority of Americans believe the Clemens is guilty. But the fact that there's. Not a compelling case against him legally I think -- the -- -- our legal system you know has some strengths even if it seemed like the outcome at all. Roger clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin chose not to put. His client Roger Clemens on the witness stand it appears to -- dole is going to put -- husky on the witness stand which makes more sense. I think he Amendola has almost no choice but to do that John I don't -- to clemens' -- put them up there we know. He's gonna struggle he struggled with questions from members of congress. -- questions from federal prosecutors. Is going to be that much force requirements and also why put them up there when you when you forty undercut Brian McNamee to an extent. Withstand dusty different story to -- against in this those strong what do they have to lose. Maybe he can get up there in you know into the Michael Jackson defense and seem weird it's peculiar but not criminal I don't think that's gonna work for you know why it. When when you're down 921 -- I inning you have to try some strange things and don't in the -- it'll do it. He is our friend Michael look at the legal eagle for SI SI dot com check them out online interesting compelling stuff and great coverage of both of these trials Michael we appreciate the times morning thank you very much. Ramirez Michael McCann but Dennis and Callahan on the AT&T -- AT&T four GL TV.