Jerry Sandusky – Preliminary Hearings

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Unless you have been one of the few people living in a hole over the last month, you have undoubtedly heard at least part of the story of former Pennsylvania State University assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with multiple counts of sexually abusing young boys. Earlier this morning, attorneys for Sandusky waived his preliminary hearing. There are legal reasons for making this decision, but in Mississippi, this decision could not have been made like it was for Sandusky.

Rule 6.04 of the Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court Practice discusses the issue of “preliminary hearings” and actually provides the Courts with reasons for conducting such a hearing. When a defendant is charged with a felony and the defendant does not post bond, the defendant is entitled to a preliminary hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether “there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed, and that the defendant committed it.” If the Judge finds there is enough evidence, the case will be bound over to the grand jury for their consideration. In Mississippi, once a defendant posts bond, the defendant waives (gives up) his/her right to a preliminary hearing.

If Sandusky’s case was in Mississippi, he would have waived his right to a preliminary hearing merely by bonding out of jail as he awaits his trial date.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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