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Many Sandusky jurors have Penn State ties

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:25 AM EDT, Mon June 11, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Twelve jurors and four alternates were chosen last week
  • Opening statements are set for Monday in the Jerry Sandusky trial
  • The former Penn State assistant football coach is charged with child rape

(CNN) -- Opening statements are scheduled for Monday in the case of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach charged with child rape.

Jurors in the case were selected last week. More than half have ties to Penn State. The panel includes one retired professor and one current professor, three graduates, two employees and one current student.

Here is a snapshot of the jurors, based on courtroom reporter pool notes.

JUROR No. 1

The middle-aged woman was the first potential juror interviewed. She works at Walmart and has two daughters. The juror said she had no fixed opinions on the case and has no Penn State bias.

JUROR No. 2

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The 24-year-old man is going to school in the fall to study automotive technology.

JUROR No. 3

The middle-aged juror's husband is a physician in the same medical group in which John McQueary, the father of one of the key witnesses in the case, works. Former graduate student Mike McQueary has testified that he alerted football coach Joe Paterno in 2002 that he'd seen what appeared to be Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a shower in Penn State's athletic facilities, an allegation that authorities didn't learn of until years later. Defense attorney Joseph Amendola asked to have the woman struck for cause because of that relationship, but Judge John Cleland rejected his request. "We're in Centre County. We're in rural Pennsylvania," he said. "There are these [connections] that cannot be avoided." It appeared that Amendola was going to use his first peremptory challenge, but Sandusky stopped him, saying, "I think she would be fair."

JUROR No. 4

An engineer from State College, the juror told attorneys he reached a saturation point and stopped reading about the case more than two months ago. The middle-aged man's wife works at a local library. "I believe I can be open-minded," he said during questioning.

JUROR No. 5

A high school physics and chemistry teacher in his late 20s or early 30s, the juror has three children, including boys ages 5 and 2. He said he usually reads sports coverage and has just basic knowledge of the case. The Penn State grad has two degrees.

JUROR No. 6

The married woman, in her 20s, works for a property management company and does not follow the news. She said she knew next to nothing about the case. "I just heard about it. I didn't hear any details or anything specific."

JUROR No. 7

The rising Penn State senior wore a school shirt to jury questioning and said he had strong feelings about football coach Joe Paterno's dismissal. He works part time for the athletics department, knows some of the witnesses and has ties to the football team. His mother works for the State College school district. The juror said he could set his opinions aside. "Being a student, I hear everything. The whole outrage. Nothing specific." Asked if he had thoughts about the scandal, the juror said, "It's a lot of people's faults. Joe did a few things he shouldn't have."

JUROR No. 8

The former Penn State soil science professor, in his late 60s or early 70s, worked at the university for 37 years before his retirement four years ago. The married former educator has followed the case and said he could put aside his connection to Penn State.

JUROR No. 9

The woman, in her 70s, was a school bus driver for 17 years before retirement. She said it was her duty to protect children, but she could consider the testimony of all sides.

JUROR No. 10

The Penn State employee is an administrative assistant in engineering. She has two daughters and four grandchildren. The middle-aged woman does not know anyone involved in the Sandusky case.

JUROR No. 11

The married 30-year-old woman has worked part-time at Penn State, and her husband currently works there as a media specialist. She has a 6-year-old son. She has had conversations with her husband about the case. She worked in dance classes at Penn State for about a year in the early 2000s, and she worked there recently. She knows one potential witness and said she has not read recently about the case.

JUROR No. 12

The woman, in her 50s or early 60s, has been a Penn State professor for 24 years. She has read the grand jury report detailing allegations against Sandusky and knows a potential witness. She interacted with former President Graham Spanier while she worked on a small committee at Penn State for three years.

ALTERNATE No. 1

Sandusky spoke at the graduation of the Penn State grad, 30. She majored in human development.

ALTERNATE No. 2

The married, middle-aged woman said she had little knowledge of the case and can be impartial. She has no children. "I'm really bad about reading the newspaper. I don't watch a lot of television."

ALTERNATE No. 3

The Penn State alum, in his 50s, has two sons, who are 29 and 30, and said he was familiar with Sandusky before the allegations. The juror walked in and smiled at Sandusky. He read the grand jury report but said he hasn't kept up with recent details. The football fan's wife works with a Penn State program geared toward getting high school students prepared for college. His brother-in-law is a retired corrections officer. The alternate said he could be objective.

ALTERNATE No. 4

The married woman, in her 60s, elicited laughter from defense lawyers and prosecutors when she said she doesn't believe half of what appears in her newspaper. She said she staunchly believes a defendant is innocent until proved guilty. "It has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt." The alternate has no connections with the university and left State College when she was 19 and didn't return for 42 years.

CNN's Dana Garrett, Laura Dolan and Lena Jakobsson, and Mayra Cuevas of TruTV's InSession, contributed to this report.

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