Saturday, June 23, 2012

Legal Closure

Sandusky Convicted On 45 Counts

Yesterday evening, Jerry Sandusky was convicted on the vast majority of 48 counts in the indictment brought against him for child molestation, sodomy, and rape.

I had a much longer version of this post up earlier; there wasn't anything in it, legally or morally, that should make me edit it, since it focused on the investigators and Center County DA's office congratulating themselves on a successful prosecution -- something they should absolutely do. But I went on too long, and overlooked the people whom Sandusky happened to. Which was the whole point of the indictment: There were victims.

For victims of crimes of personal violence, the case isn't over. It will never completely be over. The worst aspect of the trauma which humans inflict upon each other is that it can be triggered and relived, over and over. Events -- whether they're two months or fifty years old -- intrude into present time without warning. That re-experience affects current relationships in their lives; it can stunt a person's ability to experience a life with real safety, trust, or joy, and (particularly for abused children) not being able to shake the sense that bad things happened to them because they deserved it.

That's what Sandusky did to his victims. One way or another, to a greater or lesser degree, they will have to live with the memory of that... individual. And there isn't enough time left in his life for him to suffer as (in my opinion) he should; an effective life sentence isn't serious enough punishment, but I understand that a case where The Punishment Fits The Crime is a rare occurrence. And, that's just me talking.

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