Just about everyone in the United States has seen the statue of Lady Justice. She adorns the entrances of millions of courthouses and is the embodiment of our ideals of justice. Lady Justice holds balanced scales and wears a blindfold across her eyes. The purpose of her symbolic blindness is to symbolize that all people are equal in the eyes of the law. And further, no one is above the law. When it comes to the courthouse everyone is on an equal playing field. It is perhaps for this reason that celebrity scuffles with the law are so widely publicized. Looking back to stars such as NFL player O.J. Simpson or even President Bill Clinton it is clear that prosecutions of people in positions of power garner more attention than your everyday trial. Regardless of the belief of equality in the eyes of the law it often comes as somewhat of a shock to the public when the law goes after those in power. In Pennsylvania many were surprised to learn of a criminal prosecution against none other than the attorney general herself, Kathleen Kane.
During 2014 the Office of the Attorney General was involved in an investigation against the previous Attorney General. Kane’s office believed that her predecessor had failed to properly manage the prosecution of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. This investigation revealed chains of email exchanges between state prosecutors and judges that were “pornographic, racially offensive, and religiously offensive,” according to Kane.
This investigation led to accusations against Kane involving a grand jury back in 2009. Kane is accused of leaking grand jury information to a reporter. Kane allegedly told The Philadelphia Daily News of the existence of a grand jury inquiry into the former leader of the Philadelphia NAACP. As grand jury proceedings are entirely secretive, this would make Kane guilty of criminal conduct. Her alleged motivation was to embarrass the former state prosecutor. Kane is not only Pennsylvania’s first female Attorney General but also the state’s first Democrat Attorney General. She has defended herself against any wrongdoing by citing political motivations for the charges against her. Among these charges are perjury, criminal conspiracy, and false swearing.
Kane read a statement at the capitol during this past week that was her first response since the grand jury recommended charges against her. Claiming that only part of the story had been told, she elaborated, “It’s not a story about sting investigations, proposed personal investigations or press leaks. It is a story that begins with pornography, racial insensitivity and religious bigotry. It begins and ends with the circulation of pornographic, racial and religiously offensive emails both within and outside of the Corbett attorney general’s office.” The emails in question cannot be released due to a protective order placed on them by Judge William Carpenter.
Kane’s indictment is another reminder that no one is above the law. A criminal conviction changes lives regardless of the status of the convicted. After a conviction an appeal is the last chance a criminal has to clear their name. If you have questions about how to file a criminal appeal contact the attorneys at Brownstone Law.Tags: attorneygeneral, kathleenkane, pennsylvania
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