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When Guilty People Escape All Punishment

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Message Richard Franklin

Gerald Arthur "Jerry" Sandusky is a recently retired American football coach of Penn State University and most notably is now a convicted serial child molester or close to being one (I lost track). This much we know. What is lacking is the degree in which countless other people at Penn State knew Sandusky was an active child molester and had been so for many years.

Football players also knew he was a child molester, and they often joked about this facet of Coach Sandusky. From the president of Penn State down to an unknown number of people, including the head coach of the football team, this fact was known. Starting with word of mouth by football players, this fact most likely spread across the entire campus. This situation existed for over a decade without anybody reporting the ongoing pederasty of Coach Sandusky. (Rather tardily, he is now under arrest and will surely be tried and convicted of an unknown number of criminal activities with children.)

What is seriously lacking in this picture is a total absence of any focus on people who knew about the ongoing incidents of pederasty in the Penn State showers and locker room. It is probable that a huge number of students knew about it by word of mouth. It also is probable that countless people in the school administration also knew. As for the football team, most players also knew that Sandusky was a pedophile, and jokes about this abounded.

What has not been mentioned in the media is this legal fact from Black's Law Dictionary:

"Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to a judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, is guilty of the crime of misprision of felony."

One thing we can be sure of, records of countless cases of misprision of felony at Penn State have now been buried, and an unknown number of people who are guilty of misprision of felony are going unnamed and not prosecuted. Those who believe the punishments inflicted on Penn State were overly harsh, apparently are unaware that countless athletes, students, and Penn State employees quietly dodged a legal bullet when they failed to report their knowledge of ongoing criminal acts by a pedophile.

I perhaps should not express this thought, but I suspect that the Penn State mess would not occur in a democratic socialist state. What was being protected at Penn State was a capitalist enterprise. What was sacrificed was the mental health of countless children over a decade.

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Richard Franklin is a retired college teacher who specialized in teaching rational thinking. He also is an experienced rational psychotherapist. His book, "The Mythology of Self Worth," a guidebook to rational self-counseling, has recently been (more...)
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