Friday, June 22, 2012

Sandusky Trial Day 9

Waiting sucks. That's what I have heard from every victim and every family that I've ever sat through a trial with.  

In most sex abuse cases that I have worked there is no trial.  There's a disclosure, there's a confession or enough corroboration that we need no confession.  The perp is charged.  They always plead not guilty at preliminary hearing, then the negotiations start.

The defense gets a copy of all of our evidence.  The advent and use of Children's Advocacy Centers has been invaluable in these cases, because we turn over the taped interviews as part of evidence.  The defense gets a look at a credible kid, and decides that they want to try for a plea deal.  Once in a while, they decide to take it to trial.

After overwhelming evidence is presented.  After victims give tearful heart wrenching testimony.  After people like myself get grilled on the stand because maybe we restated a victim's answer saying penis instead of wee wee.  After the closing arguments, charts, videos and timelines. After the judge reads the charges and the instructions, we wait.

Sometimes we wait for hours.  Sometimes its days.  Personal longest wait was 3 days.  Jury got the case on Friday, we got a verdict on Tuesday, they didn't work the weekend.  We won that one.  The shortest was 2 hours, we won that one too.  I had one a couple of years ago, multiple victims, unrelated to each other with varying degrees of abuse.  Seemed like a slam dunk.  Jury out for 6 hours on 12 counts.  Not guilty.  Turns out one of the jurors was a teacher, and she just "knew" that kids make things up.

You learn to force a smile in front of the families.  You never say you have a doubt. You always tell them that they did great.  You always  tell them not to worry.

You always tell them, waiting sucks....

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