On the Eve of Closing Arguments: Why Sandusky Insists He’s Innocent

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This is going to be short and sweet because, quite honestly, I’m beat. And because I forgot my wireless keyboard, so typing on the built-in one on my iPad is like writing in longhand.
The reason Jerry Sandusky maintains his innocence is because he is innocent–in his own mind. He doesn’t believe he’s done a thing wrong. It’s classic pedophilia at its finest, if you can use such a term to describe this disorder. I’ve written about this in the past, on posts here at this site and elsewhere, so I’m not saying anything new. But that’s the real reason why Sandusky was so eager to take the stand, even though his attorneys wouldn’t take the risk.
Now onto the victims, specifically Victim #1 and his mother, who witnesses said claimed they would gain wealth by going after Sandusky. At least, that’s the connotation many people who heard the testimony gave to it. But knowing how victims think, and having said similar thing in moments of outrage over perceived or real injustices, I know it’s likely they meant something else.
Rather, they probably meant they were so livid about Sandusky’s actions that if they could prove it, they would make him suffer, as they had, by taking some of his wealth. (Vixtim #1’s mother supposedly said she would own Sandusky’s house.) Victim #1upposedly said, according to a neighbor, he would have a new Jeep, by the time this fiasco ends.
So what’s wrong with that? If we live in a capitalistic society that values money and wealth above almost all other things–which we do–isn’t that a reasonable expectation to have, if you’re a victim or the parent of one? Sometimes, money is the only way to get people to listen, thus the saying, “hit ’em where it hurts, in the pocketbook.”
Does anyone remember the California case that broke wide open in 2009, when a girl gone missing 20 years prior was finally found? Jaycee Dugard and her two daughters received a ton of money from the State of California, not only for the state’s obvious failure to find her, when she was right there under its nose the entire time, but also to prevent a lawsuit. And yet people screamed about that payout, too.
Just what is it about victims who suffer greatly and then want to try to somehow claim something of value, for what they lost that is most certainly beyond value and, once lost, never able to be recovered, that people can’t understand?
Have you never been at the wrong end of a fender bender, when your vehicle was damaged as a result? Or maybe you just told the other driver, “Oh that’s okay, don’t you worry about that large dent (or busted headlight or broken windshield) in my car. I don’t mind at all that you were responsible and, in fact, to show you how little I care about my property, I’m going to pay for the repairs myself.”
In our society we value justice, and yet we know sometimes, true justice never truly comes. So we settle for something else: cold, hard cash–or at least, we like to believe that will offset the irreparable harm we’ve suffered from becoming someone else’s victim.
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Daleen can be reached at daleen.berry@gmail.com.
Editor’s note: Berry is the first recipient of the Pearl Buck Award in Writing for Social Change, for her second book, Lethal Silence, to be published sometime in 2012. She has expertise in overcoming abuse through awareness, empowerment and goal attainment, and wrote about Wanda Toppins’ murder in her book, after reporting on the case in 1991 when she worked for The Preston County Journal. Wanda was another Preston County woman who died needlessly, and who Berry wrote about in Sister of Silence.
To read the Sister of Silence e-book (or any other e-book), download a free app from Amazon for your phone, tablet or computer.
Berry’s an award-winning author, editor and journalist who speaks at conferences around the country. Berry was one of two keynote speakers addressing a national audience at “The Many Faces of Domestic Violence,” the 18th Annual Conference of the Association of Batterers’ Intervention Programs on March 1, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif. She recently spoke to social workers from all over the country at the “Hope for the Future: Ending Domestic Violence in Families” conference at the University of California, Berkeley.
Her memoir (paperback and as an e-book) can be found at bookstores everywhere, or ordered online. To read the first chapter free, please go to Goodreads. Check out the five-star review from ForeWord Reviews. Or find out why Kirkus Reviews called Berry “an engaging writer, her style fluid and easy to read, with welcome touches of humor and sustained tension throughout.”
If you want to read dozens of other five-star reviews, check out this title on Amazon. To view the Sister of Silence book trailer, go to her VintageBerryWine Youtube channel. For a mock up of the SOS t-shirt readers are demanding, check out Berry’s Facebook page.


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