Did justice move too quickly?
That's what attorney Joe Amendola claims in his defense of convicted child-sex offender Jerry Sandusky. It is a possible area for appeal after Sandusky's sentencing earlier this week.
Pennsylvania law requires a defendant be brought to trial within 365 days (not including pre-trial motions) from when charges are filed or else the case can be thrown out. We are dismayed with the way the justice system works - sometimes in fits and spurts and other times with indeterminate delays.
But was four months enough time to move the case to trial? Former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletics Director Tim Curley, who remains on leave, will have waited over a year before their case goes to trial.
On the one hand, it does look like Senior Judge John M. Cleland Jr. rushed, not giving enough time to Amendola and fellow defense attorney Karl Rominger to prepare. Cleland denied numerous defense motions to slow down the case, which had 10 victims. He set a timetable and stuck to it.
On the other hand, Amendola conducted hours and hours of interviews with the media during the four months of preparation. He spent way too much time pontificating, even trotting out Sandusky to do several national interviews - including an Emmy-winning interview for Bob Costas, a decision that backfired.
During the same time, the state Attorney General's Office posted the "no comment" sign at every opportunity. The prosecutors and investigators spent their time honing their case, which ended with 45 guilty verdicts out of a possible 48.
It's not a close call: Joe Amendola is a highly competent lawyer who had enough time to prepare Jerry Sandusky's case, and if brought up, the courts should dismiss the too-speedy trial argument out-of-hand.