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Published: Sunday, 11/11/2012

Offensive defense

He's picking on me: It’s the fallback position of a defensive child, and too often the automatic response of a public figure accused of betraying public trust.

That’s what attorneys for Graham Spanier offered after the former Pennsylvania State University president was charged with thwarting the investigation of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who since has been convicted of sexually abusing boys.

The lawyers said Mr. Spanier is innocent of the eight counts, including perjury, obstruction of justice, failure to report suspected child abuse, and endangering the welfare of children. They attacked prosecutors, claiming the charges are politically motivated.

Mr. Spanier’s offensive defense is nothing new. The scandals of government pale compared to the cover-up alleged against Mr. Spanier and two of his administrators, former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley.

All three men contest the charges. Offering a vigorous defense is a right and privilege of our judicial system. But at this point, they should save their explanations for a judge and let the system work.

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