Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

If he were state Attorney General...

Former U.S. Congressman Pat Murphy, a Democrat now running for the job, said he would be focused on solving what he called the "systemic failures" in current state laws that are rendering the Penn State scandal one of biggest in U.S. sports history.

If he were state Attorney General...

Former U.S. Congressman Pat Murphy, a Democrat now running for the job, said he would be focused on solving what he called the "systemic failures" in current state laws that are rendering the Penn State scandal one of biggest in U.S. sports history.

Murphy, among other changes, is pushing for a statewide criminal intelligence database for sex crimes against children that would allow law enforcement agencies to share information and better coordinate their efforts in getting predators off the streets.

"The Penn State abuse allegations span multiple jurisdictions over 15 years, and what we are seeing is some law enforcement agencies were unaware of investigations in other jurisdictions," he said. "When you are dealing with sex offenders, particularly those who prey on kids, information sharing is critical."

He also would lobby the state legislature to repeal the statute of limitations, both criminal and civil, for sexual abuse of children and adopt stricter mandatory reporting laws.

As it stands now, the legislature is considering assembling a bipartisan, bicameral task force to examine the PSU scandal and figure out, among other things, what laws need to be changed.

Unlike others who have been questioning whether the Attorney General's Office, under Corbett, dragged out the Jerry Sandusky investigation, Murphy was not quick to hop on the blame bandwagon.

“The last thing Pennsylvania needs now is a bunch of partisan fingerpointing,”he said.

“The facts of the case are still coming out,” added Murphy, a onetime military prosecutor. “If someone failed to do their job and protect these children, then they should be held accountable. But from what I have heard and read, it seems the Attorney General’s office did what they could to investigate this case and bring a criminal to justice.”

 

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About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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