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Jerry Sandusky Locked Up; Let's Not Forget the Real Story: The Children

BELLEFONTE, PA - OCTOBER 09: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case on October 9, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The 68-year-old Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years and not more that 60 years in prison for his conviction in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including while he was the defensive coordinator for the Penn State college football team. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Brian BuckleyContributor IIOctober 10, 2012

Sometimes our trusted justice system brutally fails to get the job done. We as a public subconsciously believe the men and women doing their civic duty and the ones cloaked in judicial robes will render the right decision for the benefit of the public.

But after some well-publicized and media-driven cases, we sometimes lose faith in the sterling Lady Justice, like in the cases of O.J. Simpson or Casey Anthony. What were these people missing? How could they allow a guilty person to walk from their crimes? This wasn't their just punishment, and we knew it.

And even after receiving a virtual life-sentence, there are some people that have thrown up their hands at the sentence to convicted child molester and former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

On Tuesday, Sandusky was sentenced to no less than 30 years and no more than 60 years in prison. The ruling basically means Sandusky could walk out of jail at 98-years-old—that is, if he were to make it through the corridors of the general population.

To many the picture is clear: A monster is behind bars and potential victims of this predator are spared the pain and anguish Sandusky’s victims have endured. But many are upset that the judge didn't issue a life sentence to the founder of the Second Mile. This man did horrific and unspeakable things to the most impressionable people on the planet and is only given 30 years?

In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty will not be issued for any child rape. Apparently, it falls under a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which is “cruel and unusual punishment.” Personally, I find that explanation to be a bit hypocritical. So did others, as the Supreme Court ruling was a narrow 5-4 decision. 

With all that being said, we the public want the gaudiest of gaudy numbers included in a sentence for a disgusting and unspeakable crime if the death penalty isn't on the table. We want immense numbers like “400 years” or “six life sentences to be served consecutively” splashed across the headline or repetitively flowing at the bottom of the screen; however, sometimes in our universal pursuit for ultimate justice, we forget about the things that really matter.  We lose track of the main reason we are so sick to our stomachs in the first place.

Over the course of 20 years (maybe more), Jerry Sandusky systematically manipulated and violated the jewels of society: our children.

These same young boys who were desperately looking for a father figure instead had their fragile lives shattered, possibly forever by a sick, demented and delusional man. They experienced mental and physical pain that many of us can’t fathom to understand. 

Nothing can take away the actions of what he’s done, including any large print and large numbers in the boldest of headlines. But with a 30-year sentence, it firmly cements this monster is no longer a threat to our children. The final punishment didn't have eight zeros after the year, but it worked for us.

Jerry Sandusky will never see another child for the rest of his life. I think the justice system got right it right this time.

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