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Sandusky verdict may restore faith in judicial system, but long way still to go

To the credit of we the media and the American people at large, we didn't dub this "The Trial of the Century."

Perhaps it's because we still can't believe those LAPD officers who beat Rodney King on videotape walked out of a suburban LA courtroom two decades ago free men.

Perhaps it's because we still can't believe an old, blood-soaked glove that did not fit was enough to acquit O.J.

Perhaps it's because we still can't believe the young mother who partied with friends while her daughter was "missing" walked out of a Florida jail less than two weeks after the end of her controversial trial.

Whatever the reason, no one seemed to hype the Jerry Sandusky trial. It was too awful to hype. The fact was stranger than fiction. We just wanted it over.

And so, less than eight months after police in central Pennsylvania arrested the former Penn State assistant football coach a week after his old boss became Division 1 football's winningest coach and on a Nittany Lion open date, Sandusky again walked to a police car in handcuffs. This time out the side door of a courthouse and off to jail, having been convicted on 45 of 48 counts in his child sex abuse case.

Despite other trials that seemed slam dunks and went a much different direction, we were all pretty sure of how this would turn out and confident it would happen as we expected. We knew the evidence was too strong. We knew the stories were too true, as painful as they were for the victims and witnesses to tell.

A jury of seven women and five men agreed. Their verdicts late last night allow us to remove words like alleged, accused and suspected from discussions of Sandusky. That's one of the amazing things about the American criminal justice system. The decision of the jury is defining and binding, pending appeals, of course. So Sandusky is no longer an accused child rapist. He is a child rapist. He is the monster we suspected. It's true, because that jury in Bellefonte, PA, says it is.

It is the verdict we wanted and needed, but as the mother of one of the victims said last night, there are no winners in this. Sandusky will likely die in prison. The young men he abused will have to deal with what happened long after he is gone. Penn State continues to pick up the pieces of its once proud reputation. And we as viewers of this great American tragedy must try to make sense of the absolute senseless.

But for now, at least, even the most skeptical likely have a renewed faith in "the system." But that faith may be fleeting. This saga is long from over. Sandusky's attorney made that clear last night.

Joe Amendola may go down in history as one of the worst lawyers in a high-profile case in modern American history for the things he said and did in public, but he believes he has legitimate grounds for appeal. The judge would not grant the Sandusky team a continuance, bringing this case to a rapid close. That judge also allowed heresay testimony; third-party accounts of what a one-time Penn State janitor, his mind too riddled with dementia now to testify, told other people he saw Sandusky do to a child.

Personally, I think Sandusky's best chance for appeal may be to argue inadequate counsel. After all, Amendola reportedly was the one who offered Bob Costas that now legendary phone interview with Sandusky on national TV. You know, the one where Sandusky had to think before hemming and hawing about whether he is sexually attracted to young boys? That was perhaps the most significant nail in the proverbial coffin, as far as the court of public opinion goes. And the strange decisions and comments by the attorney continued from there.

Regardless, Sandusky now sits in a jail cell, where he'll wait until September for a sentencing hearing. It will likely include more painful statements from victims about the horrors he inflicted on them, whether in a locker room shower, the dungeon of deviate behavior that was Sandusky's basement or anywhere else. The minimum sentence for his crimes is reportedly 60 years. It doesn't seem enough, despite it being a life sentence for the 68-year-old.

For now, we all wait to see if the verdicts will stand. Or will Amendola somehow prove his legal skills, leaving so many of us questioning the legal system once again?

By: Kevin Wuzzardo

Big week for pedophile convictions

Penn State,Pedophile Priest cleric enabler and Jehovah's Witnesses molestation unholy trinity big news same week.
Jehovah's Witnesses hit with $28 million sex abuse settlement Oakland,Calif.-Google it.

Many court documents and news events prove that Jehovah Witnesses require two witnesses when a child comes forward with allegations of molestation within the congregation.
It has also been shown that child molesters within the organization usually have not been identified to the congregation members or the public at large.
These people engage in a door to door ministry, possibly exposing children to pedophiles.
The Watchtower corporation has paid out millions in settlement money already.
--
Danny Haszard *tell the truth don't be afraid*

URGENT-nat'l dialogue re legal reform, all topics, esp. re kids

What Sandusky did was indeed too bad to hype. Ditto abuse perpetrated by anyone, esp. vs children, but especially by those who are supposed to be public role models such as priests, rabbis, teachers, etc. However, there is a far bigger coverup that has long been ignored by media and all sorts of public officials & that is ABUSIVE CUSTODY. ABUSIVE CUSTODY HAPPENS WHEN PARENTS SPLIT & A JUDGE ORDERS A CHILD TO LIVE WITH THE PARENT WHO HAS HAD CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OF ABUSE PRESENTED AGAINST HIM OR HER (THOUGH STATISTICS SHOW ABUSERS ARE FAR LESS OFTEN THE MOTHERS). THE NEW ENGLAND LAW REVIEW STATES THERE ARE ABOUT 58,500 REPORTED CASES OF ABUSIVE CUSTODY YEARLY!!!! SOMETIMES THE JUDGES HAVE BEEN GIVEN FALSE DATA BY VARIOUS CHILD EVALUATORS. BETTER TRAINING SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY REQUIRED AS PART OF THE PROBLEM IS ABUSERS ARE NOTORIOUSLY DR. JEKYL/MR. HYDE. BUT SOME OF THE PROBLEM IS SOME OF THE EVALUATORS & JUDGES ARE ABUSIVE, CORRUPT, ETC., ETC. BUT EXTREMELY FEW VIABLE CHECKS & BALANCES EXIST.
However, it is NOT just family court actors, but our entire legal system which needs checks & balances because it has increasingly become Who Can Win, Not What's Just.
GOOGLE THE NEW AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY NoWayOutButOne.com where a mother & kids got asylum in the Netherlands due to abusive custody ordered HERE. The FBI pursued her relentlessly for years even though there was much documented evidence that both she & her children were being abused by the children's father.
BUT, I would like to add that I don't believe anyone is born an abuser. As many know, there is much data proving abuse has a high cycling rate. Hence, we need compassionate, constructive dialogue not only to create enforceable checks & balances on our legal system but to create lots more preventive measures in schools & society at large. A few years ago the Tennesseean.com reported they saved $4 for every $1 spent in child abuse prevention. Consider that operating our courts is a huge taxpayer expense, & legal loopholes & excessive suing abound pushing up health care & business & education costs, as well as hurting individuals & families caught in lawsuits. Shouldn't WE DEMAND THAT LEGAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE A PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TOPIC? (I am in 6 WhosWhos due to over 40yrs of public advocacy.)

Kevin is right in that

Kevin is right in that although we the spectators now have closure on this case, Sandusky's victims never will. They will live with what that monster did to them for the rest of their lives. Whether he is sentenced to the minimum number of years for his crime or whether he is sentenced to the maximum, it could never be enough for what he has put those boys through.

Although this does restore some faith in this justice system, perfect justice in a perfect world would also put on trial every adult that knew about Sandusky's behavior and chose to do nothing to protect those little boys. But, alas, we don't have a perfect system and we don't live in a perfect world, so we will most likely have to settle for the punishment of the monster himself.

Punishment

Penn State should get the NCAA'S “Death Penalty” for at least 10 years. The fact that Sandusky's crimes were covered up, thus allowing more victims, is inexcusable. If this doesn't justify their maximum penalty, I never want to hear about them getting upset over player payments, tattoo’s for jerseys, etc. The NCAA needs to send the message that this type of behavior will never be tolerated and anyone caught will lose their football privileges. That anyone would allow children to continue to suffer at the hands of Sandusky because of money or embarrassment to the University is hard to believe. I guess some people think they can justify anything.