FanPost

A Summary of Where We Stand Today, inspired by OctaShields "What is a Grand Jury Presentment" Post.

Hey guys, long time reader, first time fanposter.  I read Octa's post on Grand Jury Presentment (ripped off some of your points here, Octa.  Hey, at least I cited my sources!), and it led me to take a stab at summarizing how I feel about this whole thing, based on the best points raised in this and other forums.  It helps me explain to the million people asking me about the issue and what I think about it, as a pretty vocal PSU fan in my community.  Enjoy:

One thing I've learned in this whole thing is what a grand jury presentment is, and what it is not. It is a summary of testimony collected during an investigation, not a comprehensive listing of facts. It is a prosecutorial document written by the prosecution with the intent to present a case to charge someone, not an impartial set of findings that have been fairly disputed by those accused. It is the basis for a trial, not the outcome of one. Conflicting evidence is not necessarily hashed out and clarified, as it may not support the prosecution's efforts to bring charges. As has been noted by the defense-types out there; grand jury presentments are intentionally light on detail to avoid giving the defense ammunition during the trial.

Saying that Jerry Sandusky should get his day in court is really hard to embrace because the charges are so terrible, and it's almost impossible to imagine a scenario where this many charges are all false. If even one charge is proven true, the guy deserves more punishment that we can legally give. And, even though he gets his day and has an opportunity to be proven innocent of any crimes, his TV interview proves that he is a man totally unaware of how to behave around children and who can't be realistically trusted around them in the future.

The charges against the administration are different; this is a situation where the prosecution is choosing one person's word over another. It's also a scenario where we need to understand what they knew, when they knew it, and what other information may have played a part in how they behaved. Cross examination and an opportunity to say their piece (which can only be done in court) will decide their culpability.

The charges against Joe are...well there are no legal charges (yet). The charges against Joe are moral, and are based on an incomplete set of facts in the grand jury presentment, the editorializing of elected officials (police commissioner and governor), and the natural anger and rejection that something like the charges outlined could happen without someone either being grossly stupid or intentionally hiding something. This anger causes most people to weigh in before they know definitively what happened, and to react with enough force that they won't want to retract their argument later because they were so passionate.

When we know what the administration and Joe knew, through a fair and open trial and corresponding internal investigation by the university and other organizations, we can judge them morally. I think the biggest test of the character of the university is how openly they embrace the investigation and proceed in a transparent fashion. I wish that we get a black and white answer at the end, but I fear that we'll get some shades of grey; missed opportunities, and scenarios where it's impossible to discern deceit from ignorance; intent from misfortune. We owe it to the alleged (I don't mean that negatively, just literally) victims, and to those accused who could lose their life's work even if exonerated, to wait until we hear their side.

PSU '06

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