A new trial for Jerry Sandusky?

791714.jpg

A new trial for Jerry Sandusky?

From Comcast SportsNetHARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Jerry Sandusky lost a bid for a new trial Wednesday when a judge rejected his argument that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the three-week proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict on child sex abuse charges.Judge John Cleland's 27-page order said lawyers for the former Penn State assistant football coach conceded that their post-trial review turned up no material that would have changed their trial strategy."I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant's trial counsel failed to test the prosecution's case in a meaningful manner," Cleland wrote. "The defendant's attorneys subjected the commonwealth's witnesses to meaningful and effective cross-examination, presented evidence for the defense and presented both a comprehensive opening statement and a clearly developed closing argument."He also rejected post-sentencing motions regarding jury instructions, hearsay testimony and a comment by the prosecution during closing arguments that referred to the fact that Sandusky, who did not testify at trial, gave media interviews after he was arrested in November 2011.Cleland said the prosecution's closing was not presented in a way that "was either calculated to, or did, create in the jurors a fixed bias toward the defendant."Sandusky also argued that charges should have been thrown out because they were not sufficiently specific, but Cleland said the lack of specific dates did not prevent Sandusky from pursuing an alibi defense."The defendant has simply argued the offenses did not happen," Cleland said.One of the jury instruction issues was whether Cleland should have talked to them about the amount of time it took for the victims to inform authorities that Sandusky had abused them."No one who has had the slightest experience with child sexual abuse or given a whit of thought to its dynamics could conclude that failure to make a prompt complaint, standing alone, is an accurate indicia of fabrication," Cleland said.Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence for the sexual abuse of 10 boys, including violent attacks inside Penn State athletics facilities.Sandusky lawyer Norris Gelman said Wednesday that while he had not read the decision, Cleland's ruling means an appeal will be filed to the mid-level Superior Court within the next 30 days.Attorney General Kathleen Kane released a statement late Wednesday saying the judge's ruling was consistent with the position taken by prosecutors.Also Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously approved a bill that aims to keep Penn State's 60 million fine to the NCAA over the Sandusky scandal within the state.The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jake Corman, a Republican whose district includes State College, would require such fines of at least 10 million to be deposited into a state-administered account, and be spent on Pennsylvania programs that address childhood sexual abuse."It makes sense that it should stay here to benefit organizations and the children of the commonwealth," said Corman, who also recently sued over the fine. He said the money "could do an extraordinary amount of good right here in Pennsylvania."Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, said the Legislature needed to act quickly."The victims were from Pennsylvania, the abuse was perpetrated in Pennsylvania, and the crimes were investigated and prosecuted by Pennsylvania authorities -- not authorities from other states, the federal government or the NCAA," Schwank said.In response, the NCAA issued a statement saying it was monitoring the legislation, "including examining whether, if enacted, the proposed legislation would violate both the United States and Pennsylvania constitutions."It had previously said 25 percent of the annual grants would be reserved for Pennsylvania organizations.Penn State agreed to the fine last summer as part of a deal that averted a potential shutdown of its football program by college sports' governing body. The university has already made the first of five 12 million payments.Gov. Tom Corbett has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA over the sanctions.

Stars, studs and duds at halftime: Isaiah Thomas opens with efficiency

Stars, studs and duds at halftime: Isaiah Thomas opens with efficiency

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics found themselves in an unfamiliar place for most of the first half against Milwaukee. The Celtics were playing from behind as the half ended, and were trailing the Milwaukee Bucks 55-49.

The Bucks opened the game with a 14-4 run, only for Boston to respond with 10 straight to tie the game at 14. Boston would take the lead but couldn’t put much distance between itself and Milwaukee, with their lead in the first quarter peaking at just four points.

After a 24-all tie to end the first, Milwaukee opened with an 8-0 run and played with the lead for the remainder of the second quarter in which their lead grew to as many as 14 points. 

But the Celtics chipped away at the Bucks' lead, getting it down to as little has four points on multiple occasions before the Bucks wound up taking a six-point lead into the half. 

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Wednesday’s game against the Bucks. 

STARS

Khris Middleton: Milwaukee’s ball movement created lots of open looks, and nobody seemed to benefit more from this than Middleton. He had 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting with four rebounds and two assists. 

Isaiah Thomas: He didn’t take a lot of shots, but made the ones he did take count. He had 20 points at the half on 5-for-7 shooting from the field. 

STUDS

Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Greek Freak was solid in the first half with 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting. 

Mirza Teletovic: He gave the Bucks a nice offensive spark to the second quarter, finishing with eight points on 3-for-5 shooting.

Avery Bradley: He managed to get some easy looks on cuts to the basket, finishing with eight points on 4-for-9 shooting and three rebounds. 

DUDS

Celtics composure: Both Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas picked up technical fouls in the second quarter, letting their emotions get the better of them. And on top of that, they turned the ball over 11 times which led to five points for the Bucks but even more important, took away potential scoring opportunities for the Celtics.  

Celtics co-owner pleased with present, future of team

Celtics co-owner pleased with present, future of team

BOSTON – Like most of us around New England, Wyc Grousbeck heard all the early praise doled out on the Boston Celtics as being one of the elite teams in the East prior to this season starting. 

“I felt before the season that maybe we were being overrated,” Grousbeck, co-owner of the Celtics, told CSNNE.com. “That we were maybe a top-10 team in the league and the top few in the East, maybe. But it still felt like a longshot.”

And here they are, preparing to play Game No. 75 this season, against Milwaukee, with the best record (48-26) in the Eastern Conference. 

“They’ve grown into themselves,” Grousbeck said. “They’re playing better than I probably thought.”

But Grousbeck has been around the NBA long enough to know there is still much work to be done. After all, the Celtics’ focus remains on winning an NBA title. But Grousbeck is wise enough to know that while that is the goal, it often takes longer to accomplish than anyone – himself included – would like. 

It’s even trickier when you consider how the East is still relatively close despite their being just a handful of games remaining. 

“There’s a bunch of teams scuffling around in the East, and we’re scuffling around with them,” Grousbeck said. “We gotta do something in the playoffs.”

This will be Boston’s third straight season advancing to the postseason. Each of the first two appearances ended with a first-round exit. 

But this year is different. The Celtics are on pace to finish with home court advantage at least through the first round of the playoffs. But if they’re able to win the games they are favored throughout the remainder of this regular season, they will finish with the top seed in the East and with it, home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

And as we’ve seen of late, home court has indeed been an advantage for Boston which comes into tonight’s game having won its last seven at home, which includes the first four games of a current six-game home stand. 

The success Boston has had thus far has raised the expectations of many. 

And while Grousbeck certainly wants to see the Celtics have more success than they have had the last couple of years in the playoffs, there’s no mistaking he is pleased with the direction of the franchise that just four years ago was a lottery team.

“There’s no reason to put a ceiling on the season,” Grousbeck said. “I think this season already looks good to me. I love our coach. I love our young players. I love our draft picks and our potential cap room (this summer); all of our fans. So I’m already happy with where the team is going.

Grousbeck added with a grin, “If we can speed it up all the better.”