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Graham Spanier Conviction Reinstated

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reinstated the child-endangerment conviction of Graham Spanier, former president of Pennsylvania State University. A federal judge ruled that the conviction — part of the Jerry Sandusky scandal — was based on a legal dispute over changes in the law under which Spanier was charged. He had claimed — and the judge agreed — that he should have been tried under an earlier version of the law.

But the appeals court said that “Spanier says the decision violated his clearly established due process right to notice of the charges to permit the preparation of his defense. The Superior Court’s cogent opinion explains that Spanier received notice commensurate with due process. Spanier ignores that opinion.” It added, “Therefore, Spanier does not show that the Superior Court’s reasoning contradicts clearly established federal law. The District Court correctly ruled that the statute of limitations issue is not a basis for habeas relief.”

Spanier’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

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