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Jerry Sandusky's Legal Move

Worst Strategy Ever

12/13/2011 10:12 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Jerry Sandusky Penn State
Some of the top criminal defense lawyers in L.A. tell TMZ ... they are "astonished" that Jerry Sandusky's lawyer waived his right to a preliminary hearing, because it would have been the only possible way the former Penn State assistant coach could've beaten the child molestation rap.

The lawyers were unanimous -- the prelim was the ONLY opportunity Sandusky's attorney had to test the veracity of the alleged victims before the trial.  As one criminal defense lawyer put it, "The prelim is where the lawyer can lock down the victim's story.  It's the only time Sandusky's lawyer can probe as to why such a long delay in reporting the crime." 

Crimes that are not reported for years create inherent problems for prosecutors, not the least of which are fading memories and exaggerations over time.  There's also a "me too" dynamic in these cases -- people riding the wave and saying they were also victims.  The prelim is where the defense can mine these weaknesses.

One of the defense lawyers we spoke with scoffed at Sandusky's statement this morning ... that he will fight for four quarters:  "Waiving the preliminary hearing is like laying down on the field for the first half of the game."

The lawyer said, "If Sandusky's lawyer is worried about bad publicity, it's not like it could get any worse," adding, "The decision to waive prelim is mind-numbingly stupid."

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