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Bernstein: Justice Done, But More To Do

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, is put into a police car after being convicted in his child sex abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse on June 22, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The jury found Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts in the sexual abuse trial of the former Penn State assistant football coach, who was charged with sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, is put into a police car after being convicted in his child sex abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse on June 22, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The jury found Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts in the sexual abuse trial of the former Penn State assistant football coach, who was charged with sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Dan-Bernstein Dan Bernstein
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since...
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By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist

(CBS) If nothing else, we can continue our tenuous, hopeful belief in humankind.

Even in the dark, sick heart of central Pennsylvania, where for years the emotional and cultural strength of a college football program blinded otherwise normal people to horrible crimes, justice could be done.

Even a panel that included nine jurors with direct ties to Penn State University was able to see the monster among them and send him away, understanding the local and regional shame of the truth – that a community too reverent of football enabled, abetted and facilitated the serial rape of children.

Jerry Sandusky will die in prison.

The second wave of accusers lined up by the grand jury, now including Sandusky’s adopted son, will probably stand down, as could the agents from the U.S. Justice Department lined up to prosecute Sandusky on Mann Act violations. The feds can now take proper aim at Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and the school. Time to recalibrate the gun-sights, choose targets and root out the cover-up.

A state’s addiction to college football helped Jerry Sandusky rape more boys. Pennsylvanians’ self-image as part of the church of Paterno-as-Pope clouded judgments, provided improper benefits of doubt, and will linger, properly, as a heavy cloud of shame.

Jerry Sandusky will die in prison.

This is cold, incomplete, early satisfaction.

Let’s all hope the federal investigators follow the money trail, follow the emails, follow the secret files, follow every trail as far up as it goes. We have a long-missing DA, labyrinthine connections between Penn State football, the Second Mile, deep-pocketed donors, school officials, and current Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. Joe Paterno made millions of personal dollars with Second-Mile-connected deals – real-estate, bottled-water, convenience stores. And that’s just what has been chronicled by reporters. He, Spanier and Schultz had every venal reason to stay as quiet as possible for as long as any of them knew, whether 1994, 1998, 2001, or earlier.

Sandusky’s charity-as-victim-farm was intertwined with Penn State football since 1977, and we now know from the sworn testimony of other longtime assistant coaches that it was common for boys to be showering in their midst. There’s more than one sick bastard here, and more than one willfully ignorant adult.

Some will argue that this is closure, some kind of end to the story.

They are wrong. This opens the door for motivated authorities to continue to find the truth.

Let this be not the end, but the beginning: Every authority with every power of jurisdiction now has work to do. The words of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis must be not just heeded, but actively acted upon.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” he said.

Shine it. Shine it brightly across Pennsylvania. Shine it on dirty deals, craven coaches and political pigs on the take. Shine it on stupid students who riot violently for bad reasons, compromised journalists who can’t reconcile that their heroes are evil and national worshippers of Penn State sanctity who lack the guts to to confront painful facts.

Jerry Sandusky will die in prison.

We do not celebrate. We nod, we weep, and we ask that this only may start the powerful engines of justice in which we were raised to trust.



bernstein 90x130 Bernstein:  Justice Done, But More To Do

Dan Bernstein


Dan Bernstein joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995, and has been the co-host of Boers and Bernstein since 1999. Read more of Bernstein’s columns, or follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.

The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM (or you can listen online).
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