Some of Sandusky's jurors hoping he gets life sentence
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Jerry Sandusky should be sent to prison for life when a judge sentences him Tuesday, according to several of the jurors who convicted the former Penn State University assistant football coach of molesting several boys over a period of years.
None of the jurors interviewed by The Associated Press said they have had second thoughts about their June verdict, and several plan to attend the sentencing.
"There isn't a sentence that I believe is harsh enough for what he has done and how it has affected the university," said Joan Andrews, a juror who has worked for Penn State for 41 years and held football season tickets since 1969.
Four jurors said they plan to be in the courtroom when Mr. Sandusky, 68, learns the penalty for sexually abusing boys he met through a charity he founded for at-risk children. Mr. Sandusky's own attorney expects his client to be handed a long sentence from Judge John Cleland after conviction on 45 counts. A court system spokesman said the jurors are guaranteed a seat.
Although a list of jurors has not been released by Judge Cleland, the AP was able to contact five of them. Only one of the five, retired Penn State soil sciences professor Daniel D. Fritton, said he would not attend.
Gayle Barnes, a homemaker and former school district employee, said she thinks a lot about the victims, particularly the eight who testified against Mr. Sandusky and provided what she considers the critical evidence of guilt. She said he deserves life in prison.
"I do still feel good, what we as jurors did," Ms. Barnes said.
High school science teacher Joshua Harper, who has bachelor's and master's degrees from Penn State, said he wants Mr. Sandusky "put away for the rest of his life, really." He also felt the victim testimony was pivotal.
"It was such a consistent pattern of behavior," Mr. Harper said. "It was just so solid. The defense was just so thin. There was no evidence that these kids were lying. Even the minor inconsistencies that the defense tried to bring up -- and did bring up -- that made it more convincing."
Ms. Barnes and Mr. Harper both said they hoped to learn more about what Penn State officials did or did not do in 1998 and 2001 after getting complaints about Mr. Sandusky showering with boys.
That was a major theme of the report issued to Penn State this summer by Louis Freeh, the former FBI director, and is likely also to arise during civil litigation by Mr. Sandusky's victims against the university.
"We don't know the whole story to this whole thing yet," said Ms. Barnes, a Nittany Lions fan who felt so strongly that Joe Paterno's statue should remain in place that she went to the scene outside Beaver Stadium the day it was removed in July, about a month after the verdict. "I just felt like they jumped ship, they didn't do the right thing, that they needed more information. What's going to happen if Curley and Schultz are found not guilty?"
Tim Curley, the school's athletic director on leave, and Gary Schultz, retired as vice president, are awaiting trial on charges they did not properly report suspected abuse and lied to the grand jury that investigated Mr. Sandusky. Paterno was fired after Mr. Sandusky was arrested in November and died of lung cancer in January.
The names of Curley, Schultz and Paterno did not come up during deliberations, Ms. Andrews said.
Mr. Sandusky's sentencing will begin with Judge Cleland determining whether he qualifies as a sexually violent predator, a status that would require lifetime registration if he is ever paroled.
First Published October 7, 2012 12:00 am