HARRISBURG -- Appeals by two of Pennsylvania's most notorious criminals are up for review by a state Superior Court panel on the same day next month.
The panel will take up the child-sexual abuse conviction of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and the corruption convictions of former state House Democratic leader Mike Veon in back-to-back hearings Sept. 17, Judge Jack Panella said Thursday.
The two high-profile cases will be the first of 45 civil and criminal cases the panel will consider during a two-day session at Dallas Senior High School in Luzerne County. Joining Judge Panella on the panel are Judge Sallie Updyke Mundy and Senior Judge William Platt.
Superior Court panels typically hold 30 sessions a year -- 10 each in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh -- but three or four of those sessions are typically moved to other locations in an effort to make the court more accessible, Judge Panella said.
Sandusky was convicted in June 2012 of molesting 10 boys over a period of years -- unleashing a scandal that took down Hall of Fame Coach Joe Paterno and prompted sanctions against Penn State's vaunted football program. Sandusky maintains his innocence as he serves a 30- to 60-year term at the state prison in Greene County.
Veon, a former state representative from Beaver County, is serving at least seven years in Laurel Highlands state prison -- the harshest sentence imposed on the 22 House members and staffers who were convicted or pleaded guilty in a lengthy state corruption investigation -- after being convicted of similar charges in two trials.
The court session in Luzerne County will follow a one-hour judicial tribute to the nation's military veterans.
"If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have a free and independent judiciary," Judge Panella said.state