Jerry Sandusky faced up to 442 years in prison after being convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse of children in June. And despite his last, desperate pleas leading up to today’s sentencing, it was a foregone conclusion he’d be going away for a long time. As of this morning, we know exactly how long:
Jerry Sandusky sentenced to no less than 30 years and no more than 60 years.
— Nadine Comerford (@NComerfordTV) October 9, 2012
Now, Sandusky is 68 years old, so “not less than 30 years” and up to 60 means that, unless he lives longer than any human ever has, this is a life sentence. Still, when we all saw that “442 years” number a few months back, combined with the knowledge that sentences of absurdly long lengths aren’t unheard of, it was easy to picture something in the triple digits for Sandusky today, and the fact that it was something short of that – that it was a length of time humans actually, you know, live – immediately made many people wonder why his sentence wasn’t more harsh. (UPDATE: and one of Sandusky’s own lawyers saying he was happy with the sentence won’t help.)
Granted, he doesn’t stand much chance of making it in prison even close to that long, but it doesn’t give quite the visceral feeling of revenge many were expecting. Again, this is essentially a life sentence – just not quite as decisive a one as we might have thought. Just one more way Sandusky will stay in the news, even when there appears to be closure. Oh, and also he’s planning on an appeal. We can’t imagine that appeal being successful, but we do imagine it’ll force everyone to hear his name just a bit more. Maybe it’s best not to forget.