By Oren Liebermann
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (CBS) — Attorneys in the trial of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky have picked the first nine jurors to decide the outcome of the trial.
Sandusky, 68, faces 52 criminal counts and potential penalties that could result in an effective life prison sentence for alleged abuse involving 10 boys. The former Penn State assistant football coach has denied the allegations.
Descriptions of the jurors have been released:
Juror 1 is a middle-aged white woman who works at Wal-Mart and has two daughters.
Juror 2 is a 24-year-old man who will study automotive technology in the fall. Juror 3 is a middle-aged woman whose husband is a physician with connections to Mike McQueary’s father, John McQueary. Juror 3 has also had season tickets to Penn State football since 1976.
Juror 4 is a middle-aged State College resident who works as an engineer. His wife works at Penn State’s library.
Juror 5 is a physics and chemistry teacher at a Bellefonte area high school. He earned both his graduate and undergraduate degrees at Penn State.
Juror 6 is a white woman in her 20s. She is married, and she says she does not read the newspaper or watch the news and knows fairly little about the case.
Juror 7 is going to be a senior at Penn State in the fall. He works part time in the sports facility on campus, but he says he is able to put his opinions aside. He also says he knows Steve Turchetta, who was an assistant principal at a Clinton County high school. Turchetta was the head football coach at the school while Sandusky was a volunteer assistant coach. In addition, Juror 7’s cousin played football at Penn State, but not while Sandusky was on the coaching staff.
Juror 8 is a white male in his early 60s. He is a retired college professor who taught at Penn State for 30 years.
Juror 9 is an elderly white woman in her 70s who is a retired bus driver.
Sandusky’s lawyer Joe Amendola and prosecutors agreed on seating all of the first three in the trial jury.
The attorneys are still working their way through the first group of the roughly 220 prospective jurors.
In Phase 1, jurors received about 20 minutes of instructions from Judge John Cleland about the responsibility they may assume.
In Phase 2, 40 jurors at a time were brought in for general questioning about where they live, where they work, and if they have any connections to the defendant or witnesses.
In Phase 3, individual jurors enter the judge’s chambers for questioning.
Pool reporters present at the questioning say most of the questions came from the judge, with a few more from Amendola and prosecutors.
A pool reporter sitting in on the individual questioning of prospective jurors says the judge asked a set list of questions to each person.
* Since receiving the jury summons, has anyone attempted to influence your views?
* Has anyone attempted to give you any materials on the case?
* Do you know anything about the case outside of what you’ve seen or heard in media reports?
* What news do you read or watch?
* Do you read any blogs or websites?
* Do you have any fixed opinions about the case?
* Could you keep an open mind?
* Do you have any strong loyalty or bias against Penn State?
* Have you or anyone close to you ever been the victim of sexual assault or accused of it?
* If selected, you will be unable to consume any media for the duration of the trial. Would you be able to do that?
Juror 1 was the first prospective juror to enter for individual questioning. She was picked in about 10 minutes. Juror 2 was picked about 15 minutes later.
Judge John Cleland told the more than 220 potential jurors he would not sequester them, meaning they can spend nights at home during the trial that is expected to last several weeks. He urged them to avoid news accounts or social media postings.
Cleland also told the prospective jurors that the widow and son of late Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno were among the potential defense witnesses.
Penn State University released a statement Tuesday regarding Sandusky’s trial:
“The acts that Jerry Sandusky is accused of committing are horrible and if proven true, deserve punishment. “In deference to the legal process, the University will not comment on specifics of the ongoing legal case as it unfolds. We are hopeful, however, that the case proceeds quickly and provides answers we are all seeking. We are further hopeful that the legal process will start to bring closure to the alleged victims and families whose lives have been irrevocably impacted and that they can begin the healing process. “We continue to work with the State Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney and Former FBI Director Louis Freeh in their investigations into this matter. We will continue to cooperate fully with all legal processes to determine what happened and ensure personal accountability.”