Sandusky pens letter from jail

Posted: December 24, 2012

WILKES BARRE - Jerry Sandusky outlined his conflict on an 8 1/2 -by-3 1/4-inch scrap of paper - his only means of communicating with the world outside the Western Pennsylvania prison cell where he has been locked away, alone, 23 hours each day.

The former Penn State defensive coordinator wants to talk, he said in the handwritten note to the Citizens' Voice, but his attorneys have told him to stay quiet while they appeal his conviction for sexually abusing at least 10 boys over the last two decades.

Sandusky declined the newspaper's request for an interview but, through his note, offered insight into his mindset and outlook following his sentence in October to 30 to 60 years in prison and his transfer to the State Correctional Institution at Greene, a super-maximum security penitentiary in Waynesburg, 50 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Sandusky, in the note, maintained his long-held stance of innocence and wrongful persecution and clung to his appeal - which centers on Senior Judge John M. Cleland's unwillingness to give the defense more time to prepare between the November 2011 arrest and the June trial - as a means of possible vindication.

A hearing on Sandusky's post-trial motions is scheduled for Jan. 10 in Bellefonte. If Sandusky's conviction is upheld, he would not be eligible for parole until age 98.

"Right now our focus is on the appeal," Sandusky wrote. "There is much to learn, issues and information not presented. Nobody who covered the case and reported it had the time or took the time to study the allegations, the accusers, the inconsistency, and the methods. Justice and fairness were not a focus."

Sandusky, 68, closed the note with a dose of the inspirational tone he struck in his 2000 autobiography, Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story, and in the gushy letters he wrote to the youth participants in his Second Mile charity, including some who later accused him of abuse.

"I'm trying to learn from, grow from, and endure the struggle and circumstances," Sandusky wrote. His mantra, he said, is "ENDURE," with each letter taking on spiritual and motivational significance:

"E - Embrace each day as a gift. N - Never surrender except to God. D - Don't let your situation get the best of you. U - Understand God's purpose and presence. R - Remain as positive as possible. E - Exercise your mind, body and spirit."

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