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Jerry Sandusky and the 2012 Election

Next Tuesday, voter registration closes in Pennsylvania. Our commonwealth has received national attention as a swing state in the presidential election. In addition, as Tom Smith rises in the polls against Bob Casey, the spotlight turns to US Senate race. Then comes the motley assortment of state and local races that most Penn Staters turn a blind eye to and only choose the candidate with the funniest name.

However, in this election, Penn Staters have the opportunity to affect the outcome on the Sandusky Scandal. By casting a vote for Attorney General, a student can pave the way for an investigation of Governor Tom Corbett.

The investigation into the crimes of Jerry Sandusky began four years ago. At the onset, Tom Corbett led the investigation as Pennsylvania’s Attorney General. He deferred the case to a grand jury, and waited until he had eight “alleged” victims of child abuse to indict Jerry Sandusky. The governor claims that he used the time to build a solid case against the child predator. However, this process inadvertently allowed Sandusky to participate in the Second Mile and to be near children.

Furthermore, Attorney General Corbett collected $200,000 in donations to his gubernatorial campaign from Second Mile board members. His critics allege that he was playing politics, and waited until after the 2010 election so that he would not alienate contributors.

So what can Penn Staters do to look at Corbett’s role?

Kane v. Freed

David Freed and Kathleen Kane were elected as their parties’ nominee for Attorney General, and each has had an opinion on the fallout of the Sandusky Scandal.

Freed, a Republican and the district attorney of Cumberland County, announced that he wished to end the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases, and would establish a special victims’ unit for investigations of child abuse, elder abuse, and certain cases of financial fraud. However, he has been quiet about the role that Corbett, also in the GOP, played in the Sandusky investigation.

Meanwhile, Kathleen Kane, a Lackawanna County deputy DA and the Democratic candidate, has long been critical of Corbett’s role. During the Sandusky trial, PoliticsPA reports that Kane appeared on cables news dozens of times to share her views. She believes that the next Attorney General of Pennsylvania must investigate what went wrong in the indictment and prosecution of Jerry Sandusky. As a lawyer who prosecuted sexual predators, Kane asserts she would have removed Jerry Sandusky from access to children much sooner than three years.

Initially, Freed had not criticized the Republican governor and defended the length of time that it took to indict Jerry Sandusky. However, as the general election approached and Kane received recognition, he eventually stated that he would conduct a review of the Attorney General’s investigation. Kane announced she would bring a grand jury investigation against the Space Cadet. Kane has alleged that electoral politics could explain the lengthy process. However, her critics noted that the Lackawanna lawyer praised the prosecution on June 18 on MSNBC.

Penn State students will have a huge say in who will become the next Pennsylvania Attorney General. In effect, their votes will determine the internal investigation of Tom Corbett’s leadership as the commonwealth’s top prosecutor. Can David Freed conduct an independent review of his party’s top boss? Does Kathleen Kane genuinely believe that Corbett bungled the Sandusky case and will she carry through with her promise? Your vote for state Attorney General will affect the Corbett administration and the future of Penn State.

Note: “Tom Corbett and the Jerry Sandusky investigation” is one of the many issues voters should consider when they vote for Attorney General. Visit the campaign sites of David Freed and Kathleen Kane for more information.

About the Author

Doug Dooling, Jr.

I am a staff writer for Onward State. I graduated as a Nittany Lion with Honors in 2013. Now, I am back in Happy Valley to earn a degree at the Penn State Law. Outside of politics and government, my interests include college football, soccer, Irish history, and astronomy.


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