2 potential jurors in Sandusky trial wearing Penn St. shirts; 3 jurors selected

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Having connections to Penn State University will not exactly eliminate your chances of serving on the jury for the Jerry Sandusky trial. Of course, sometimes the bias and slant is just way too obvious, like when potential jurors show up wearing Penn State t-shirts.

From the award-winning Sarah Ganim of the Patriot News:

Two young people, one woman and one man, were wearing Penn State shirts. One employee of Penn State was spotted, but Cleland told jurors that doesn’t preclude them from serving on the jury. Instead, they will be questioned about their roles at the university.

Cleland told jurors he’s not naive. He knows they’ve heard about the case. But he’s trusting them from this point to “act as jurors” and to do their civic duty by refraining from being influenced by things they might hear outside the courtroom and by prior beliefs.

220 Centre County, Pennsylvania residents arrived this morning and were broken down into groups of 40 to be questioned by both the prosecutors and the Sandusky attorneys.  Three of the twelve jurors were selected today; including  a middle-aged woman who’s been a Penn State football season-ticketholder since the 1970s. Also, her husband works for the medical group where Mike McQueary’s father previously worked. So it’s going to be impossible to truly have a jury pool with no connections to the school or the football team. Also picked today were a 24-year-old man with plans to attend an auto technician school and a mother who works in retail.

From the AP:

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.

During jury selection, Sandusky’s lawyer sought to have the Penn State ticketholder eliminated without using one of the eight challenges each side gets. Judge John Cleland turned him down and, after conferring with Sandusky, attorney Joe Amendola allowed her to be chosen.

Among those who were struck from the pool were a nurse who said people make up stories all the time – prosecutors used a challenge for her – as well as a man who had volunteered for the Sandusky-founded charity The Second Mile. Also struck were a mother of 10 who said she has made up her mind and a Penn State fan and township manager who said news coverage of the case has been destructive to her community.

Tweeting will not be allowed during the trial, and the biggest roadblock to having a fair trial will likely be all the media and social media attention that will surround a high profile case such as this.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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