BELLEFONTE - The parade of character witnesses continued Tuesday in the Jerry Sandusky trial to shine a light on his good reputation to develop reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.
At the same time, the defense's goal to develop reasonable doubt in at least one juror to have Sandusky acquitted has sprouted additional branches. If the jurors do not buy the character witness testimony, they can choose from a few other defense themes.
The defense team has attempted to discredit accusers by indicating at least one alleged victim lied in the past. An early theme Sandusky's team developed during the prosecution's case was that the accusers were money grabbers who conspired against the defendant and concocted tales of heinous acts.
There was testimony to that effect on Tuesday but in my view, the financial-gain theory was stronger on attorney Joe Amendola's cross-examination of the accusers rather than having neighbors testify about an accuser talking of cars and houses.
Then there is the theme of degraded memories of the alleged victims being reconstructed through repeated interviews with investigators - and maybe even at the suggestions of the investigators.
Tuesday also brought a possible psychological explanation to explain away some of Sandusky's letters to an accuser. Could this be the reason for the horrific acts testified to by the earlier witnesses? Might a juror hang on this defense theme as a reason to find a doubt that is reasonable?
The defense case appears to be disjointed and going in multiple directions. Even the presentation of evidence appears to be jumping from positive to negative with a character witness followed by a neighbor of an accuser claiming the accuser's mother helped fabricate the case against Sandusky for money.
My hunch is that Sandusky's lawyers are developing this apparent misdirection to deal with the mountain of evidence and number of accusers. The prosecution dealt with each accuser's case as if it was a book in a 10-set series for the jurors to understand the individual and overall story of the set.
The defense team is furiously trying to rip out pages from each of the books. It looks like the only strategy available in this case.
Local attorney Robert Donaldson will be commenting on the Jerry Sandusky trial for the Mirror.