Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jerry Sandusky claims unfair treatment

As we all know, Jerry Sandusky of Penn State notoriety was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse involving boys/young men as his victims. He was eventually sentenced to 30-60 years in prison. Currently 68, in effect, that amounts to a life sentence. He's never getting out of prison, at least alive.

Yet sometimes one is left to wonder about how our justice system, in it's infinite, ahem, wisdom, actually goes about their business in dealing with certain convicted criminals.

Sandusky is currently housed at the Greene State Prison, in southwestern Pennsylvania. This is the same place where the majority of Pennsylvania's death-row inmates reside, for their various crimes. Like most other jails and/or prisons, Greene State classifies their inmates based on what level of security risk (how dangerous) they deem them to be. At Greene State this ranges from Level 1 to Level 5, with Level 5 being the worst of the worst. Prisoners on death row are Level 5, as well they should be.

Amongst other things, like a restriction on phone calls, visitors, and the like, that entails spending 23 hours a day in their cells, including being fed, with only 1 hour a day to possibly see sunlight or get some exercise. Do those that have committed such heinous crimes to land them in this prison as Level 5s deserve this sort of treatment? In my opinion, damn right they do.

Nevermind that Pennsylvania's entire death-row scenario is a joke anyway. Other than 3 prisoners that waived their rights to appeals, they haven't actually executed anyone for 47 years. They die on death-row alright, from old age, while the state continues to spend countless millions to keep up the charade, but I digress.

Does Sandusky deserve the same Level 5 treatment? Again, in my opinion, hell yes. He wasn't given the death penalty, not that it would have ever happened, but the atrocities he committed deserve the harshest treatment possible.

That's where things get a little sticky. Greene State Prison classified Sandusky as a Level 2 inmate. Level 2 is probably just a shade worse than serial child-support neglecters or white collar embezzlers -- hardly a menace to society. That would seem to be outrageous. Hey, don't abuse the messenger. I didn't classify him. THEY did.

Sandusky and his lawyers are crying foul. Why should a Level 2 inmate get Level 5 treatment? It's a hard pill to swallow for those of us that are still outraged by what Sandusky did to those kids, but they might have a valid point. If a guy is classified by the authorities at one level, but given the same treatment as those classified at a far worse level, then something is obviously wrong.

How that will play out in the courts is anybody's guess, but Sandusky has nothing to lose by pursuing it. After all, what's the worst that could happen for us? Sandusky's still never getting out, so maybe he's allowed a few more phone calls or visitors a month. Big deal. Perhaps the powers that be could split the difference between Level 2 and 5, and rate Sandusky as a 3.5. That way he might have the pleasure of dining with armed robbers, rapists, carjackers, tattooed gang members, and maybe even a couple of those big-time white-collar crooks who are related to one of the boys Sandusky was convicted of abusing. Like those boys, they have numbers too -- and likely long memories as well.

For my part, I would fully support a certain motion Sandusky and his legal team say they may bring before a court. Evidently, Sandusky wants to be allowed to roam amongst the "general population" of the rest of the inmates.

If granted, I dare say Sandusky might quickly find himself experiencing a whole new "level" indeed. From most accounts, the good old boys in the general population seem to have their own way of giving child molesters a little love. A kind of in-house justice system, if you will.

So don't be against Sandusky's appeal. Let him have his way. He would have even begged the legal system to allow it to happen to him.

And THAT'S what I would call justice finally being served.


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