Local
2:20 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Judge in Sandusky Case Changes Twitter Ruling

The judge in Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse case has issued a pair of new rulings on the eve of jury selection.

Judge John Cleland has modified his original order that would have allowed reporters to text, tweet and blog from inside the courtroom as long as those communications did not include any verbatim transcripts from the trial. After two media organizations questioned a reporter's ability to properly report the case without directly quoting the proceedings, the judge reacted by ruling today that there should be no electronic reporting from inside the courtroom [PDF].

The request from the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association also questioned the constitutionality of the judge's original ruling. That ruling was based on Judge Cleland's understanding of the Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 112, titled "Publicity, Broadcasting, and Recording of Proceedings." That rule reads in part: "The court or issuing authority shall: (2) prohibit the transmission of communications by telephone, radio, television, or advanced communication technology from the hearing room or the courtroom or its environs during the progress of or in connection with any judicial proceedingsā€¦"

Judge Cleland also ruled Monday that alleged victims cannot avoid disclosure of their names by testifying under pseudonyms.

The former Penn State assistant coach faces 52 charges he abused 10 boys over 15 years, allegations he denies.