There was a pre-trial motion in which Sandusky's attorneys wanted to bring in the Histrionic Personality Disorder as well as the diagnosis of Depression. I missed part of that pre-trial coverage, so I do not know if they wanted to put that forth as an "affirmative defense" or if they only wanted it so they could "explain" the letters and some of Sandusky's behavior (the threats made against those who rebuffed him).
The prosecution fought to have it kept out during the "guilt phase" of the trial. I also believe the defense is barred from brining it forth through the testimony of any therapists that might take the stand for the defense.
It might be brought it during the penalty phase if there is a guilty verdict. The judge, at least during the pre-trial hearing on Monday, had deferred making a decision on that point.
The best analogy for Sandusky's defense is throwing spaghetti at the wall. Throw enough of it, and some of it will stick.
Given the client, and his long history of abusive behaviors, there isn't much the defense can do except try to attack the credibility, and the motivations of the victims, and to look for mitigation.
As Mr. Amendola stated when questioned why he let Sandusky say he took showers with the kids during the interview with Bob Costas, he reply was to the effect "he took them." With a client who can't keep his mouth shut and who has left a very long documented trail of his abuses, I don't know that there is much of a defense that can be put forth.
"I didn't do it" is out of the question.
As I was listening to some of the guests on In Session today, they aptly pointed out that Sandusky, like so many other serial sexual abusers, replies to questions in a manner that "splits hairs." He questions the question and never really answers it. His denials are based on the entirety of the question, in which there may be one abusive act he did not do with a particular victim, rather than being able to honestly deny that he did any of them.
If Mr. Amendola believed, and could support, that any of the diagnoses given to Sandusky truly mitigated his responisiblity, he would be putting forth a diminished capacity defense.
But Mr. Amendola cannot, because no therapist worth their degree would get on the stand and support such clop-trop. I would like to think that Mr. Amendola also did not consider such a defense becuase he knows that it is not true that histrionic personality disorder or depression accurately account for the behaviors of his client.
I am guessing that Mr. Amendola is already planning for the guilt phase and the appeals process.
He has successfully loaded the jury with people who have direct connections to Penn State and / or Sandusky. I am hoping common sense will prevail and the jurors will not be blinded by a sense of loyalty to the wrong thing.
I sincerely hope the jurors are as outraged by Sandusky's behavior as all of us are, and that they send him a very clear message about what he has done.
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.