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David Freed

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David Freed
David Freed.jpg
Candidate for
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
PartyRepublican
Prior offices
Cumberland County District Attorney
(2006-present)
Education
High schoolCamp Hill High School
Bachelor'sWashington and Lee University
J.D.Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law
Personal
ProfessionAttorney
Websites
Personal website
Campaign website
BallotpediaAvatar bigger (transparent background).png
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors
David Freed is the Cumberland County District Attorney. He was a Republican candidate for Attorney General of Pennsylvania in the 2012 election, but was defeated in the general election by Kathleen Kane (D).[1] The seat is currently occupied by 2010 appointee Linda Kelly (R), who will not seek a full term in office in the upcoming election.[2]

Biography

Freed grew up in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, the same place he resides today. He graduated from Camp Hill High School in 1988 and proceeded to earn his B.A. from Washington and Lee University. The future District Attorney attended Penn State University's Dickinson School of Law for his J.D. After graduating from law school, Freed worked in a private practice focusing on insurance defense litigation. He crossed into public service and with jobs as Assistant District Attorney in Cumberland County and a Deputy Prosecutor in York County. He also served as First Assistant District Attorney for five years, where he gained experience handling violent crime cases to add to his previous experience from private practice dealing with civil cases.[3]

Freed is regularly called upon to give lectures on law-enforcement topics, ranging from Trial advocacy to Sexual Assault, at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute, and his alma mater. Freed is an Honorary Board Member for the Keystone Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, coaches little league baseball and basketball and former President of the Lion Foundation non-profit charitable foundation started in 2003 to benefit the Camp Hill School District and Community.[3]

Education

  • Camp Hill High School (1988)
  • Bachelor's of Arts, Washington and Lee University
  • J.D., Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law

Political Career

Before deciding to run on the Republican ticket for Attorney General of Pennsylvania in 2012, Freed was already an active member of the Republican party, serving as a member of the Republican State Committee Commonwealth Club, on the Republican State Committee Judicial Evaluation Panel, and a surrogate speaker for statewide Republican candidates.

District Attorney (2006-present)

Freed was appointed to the office of Cumberland County District Attorney in 2006, and then elected to a full term in 2007. He was re-elected to the position in 2011.

Elections

2012

See also: Pennsylvania attorney general election, 2012

Freed was the 2012 Republican candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary on April 24, 2012. Freed faced Kathleen Kane (D) and Marakay Rogers (L) in the general election on November 6, 2012, which was won by Kane.[4]

Freed is running for attorney general in 2012

According to GOP insiders, "Freed's campaign for AG is Governor Tom Corbett’s top electoral priority in 2012."[5]

Attorney General of Pennsylvania General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKathleen Kane 56.1% 3,125,557
     Republican David Freed 41.6% 2,313,506
     Libertarian Marakay Rogers 2.3% 128,140
Total Votes 5,567,203
Election Results via Pennsylvania Department of State.


Issues

  • Eliminating the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases

Freed has made eliminating the statute of limitations for prosecuting childhood sexual abuse criminals a priority of his campaign. Three bills dedicated to this cause - House Bill 2488 and amended versions of House Bills 832 and 878 - have been drafted and successfully vetted by the Justice Committee. In an July 18 Op-Ed published in Lehigh Valley's newspaper The Morning Call Freed wrote that together, the bills would do away with the statute of limitations for child sex abuse criminal cases, "raise the statute from age 30 to age 50 for civil cases and cap the percentage a lawyer can collect in successful suits."[6] If elected, Freed also wants to create a special victims unit to assist victims of sex crimes.

  • Easing restrictions on wiretapping

Freed and his opponent have both criticized the state's laws on wiretapping, which dictate the standards of admissibility of incriminating recordings in the courtroom. Currently, audio or video proof of criminal activity is legally immaterial if captured without the advance knowledge and permission of the parties being recorded. The growing prevalence of smart phones and other easy-recording technologies have resulted in a corresponding increase in incriminating recordings.[7] Freed and Kane agree that the laws are out of date and support a bill to overhaul the laws after 14 years of stagnancy. In an interview conducted by the Associated Press in late July, Freed said that incontrovertible proof should not be denied in court based on a lack of mutual consent. "The possibility is certainly out there that people can record themselves being victimized on their ... smartphones and that could be valid evidence that we're artificially unable to use."[7]

  • Sandusky fallout

In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky trial and June conviction on 45 counts sexual abuse, Freed and Democratic opponent Kathleen Kane were given the spotlight to contribute their performance reviews for the attorney general office's handling of the high-profile, long-term investigation. Freed commended Corbett and his appointed successor Linda Kelly on their successful leadership efforts throughout the case. He followed by saying that the case brought Pennsylvania's persisting criminal statute of limitations on child abuse cases to the fore. If elected, he would seek the law's repeal as well as raise the age limits for filing civil cases in child sex abuses cases from 30 to 50. Freed also wants to expand the office to include "a victims’ rights unit to assist in the prosecution of child abuse cases."[8]

  • Political corruption cases

Freed would use the attorney general's office to cultivate partnerships with district attorneys and the U.S. Attorney General to ensure against jurisdictional constraints and conflicts of interest in the investigation and prosecution of corrupt public officials. In response to a questionnaire distributed by The Legal Intelligencer in April.[9] Freed emphasized the importance of seeking justice over personal glory with respect to political corruption cases. Despite having faith in district attorneys to notify the attorney general as needed, Freed would like to see a law requiring district attorneys to report all corruption cases to the Attorney General's Office so together they can coordinate an optimal course for investigating and positioning the case. "For various reasons including evidence, resources, witnesses, use of or a need for a grand jury, each case is unique,"[9] and deserves to be positioned according to its unique conditions.

  • Crime

Freed asserted a more progressive stance on crime than some might expect from an attorney general candidate insofar as wanting to not just be "tough on crime, but be smart on crime"[10] by focusing primarily on keeping people out of prison and being merciful when necessary. Nevertheless, Freed supports "aggressive approaches to violent offenders."[11]. Indeed, he has differentiated himself from general election opponent Kathleen Kane on the issue by signing a pledge to seek the death penalty for first-degree murderers prior to trial.

  • Photo ID Bill

Freed stuck to the party line after the Pennsylvania State Senate passed legislation on March 9, 2012 which will require voters to present photo-identification for their votes to be counted in future elections. In clear and predictable dissent from his Democratic counterparts vying for the attorney general's office in the 2012 election, Freed expressed his support for the bill, saying that he would be "more than comfortable" enforcing the law.[12] He acknowledged that in his over six years as Cumberland County District Attorney he has yet to encounter any voter-impersonators, but defended the requirement nonetheless, stating "anything that prevents fraud is a positive step," and it's not much to ask of Pennsylvanians to show ID.[13]

  • Ultrasound Bill

Although the mandatory ultrasound proposal was stalled in the House during election season, the issue was food for debate for the 2012 attorney general candidates. Democratic primary candidate Murphy made the bill a focus of his campaign, calling it “blatantly unconstitutional,”[14] and called on both his primary opponent Kathleen Kane and his potential general election opponent, Republican David Freed, to engage in the discussion. While the Democratic candidates vowed their refusal to enforce such legislation if elected, Freed did not take the bait. When prompted to offer his stance on the bill, Freed dodged the importunity, saying, “That’s playing politics with this issue. This idea of ‘I call on you to denounce this, or denounce that, or do this, or do that, is a lot of political hullabaloo at this point that really doesn’t have a lot to do with who’s the most qualified candidate for attorney general.”[14]

  • Healthcare reform

Responding to a questionnaire issued by The Legal Intelligencer in April 2012, Freed promised that, if elected, he would continue Pennsylvania's participation, initiated by Gov. Corbett when he was attorney general, in the multi-state lawsuit brought against President Obama's healthcare overhaul. "Obamacare is an unconstitutional power grab by the federal government and as attorney general, the citizens of Pennsylvania can be assured that I will protect them from such overreaching actions," Freed said, in contrast with the Democratic candidates in the race at the time, both of whom vowed to withdraw from the lawsuit.[15]

Endorsements

Among his list of supporters, Freed was endorsed by Gov. Tom Corbett.[16]

Controversies

Republican PAC attack ad

In late September, the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington, D.C., the PAC backing Freed (R) paid $558,700 to air a television advertisement on select Philadelphia stations containing what turned out to be false attacks on Kane.[19] The RSLC ad cited an example of a plea bargain that had been made in a rape case during Kane's stint at the Lackawanna District Attorney's office, inaccurately portraying her involvement in the deal to make her look "soft" on rape. Soon after its release, the content of the ad was refuted by the father of one of the two rape victims whose cases were mentioned. “I’d like to ask the people who made this outrageous advertisement if they would like their daughter’s tragic story all over television...if they can't convince people to vote for [Freed] without lying, he should not even be running,” the father wrote in a letter first published in the Philadelphia Daily News.[19] Documentation provided by the DA's office confirmed the father's claim that Kane's involvement in the case was purely administrative and ended after the preliminary filing stage, leading the PAC to pull the ad and publicly acknowledge the error.[20] The RSLC removed any reference to the rape case and promptly re-released the edited version, but continued airing the original ad on their website, angering the campaign more. “Freed needs to tell his people to take their ad down immediately and take their special interest money and their dirty tricks and get out of Pennsylvania. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better,” said a campaign spokesman.[21]

After significant prodding by Kane's campaign, Freed's campaign manager commented on the controversy, saying, "It’s our sincere hope that our opponent, as well as any outside groups that are supporting our campaign or our opponent’s campaign, conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner.” He made no mention of the ad or the implications about Freed's relationship to the PAC.[21]

Campaign donors

2012

Freed lost the election to the position of Pennsylvania Attorney General in 2012. During that election cycle, Freed raised a total of $2,791,505.

Personal

David Freed resides in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with his wife Amy and their three young children, Thomas, Elizabeth, and Natalie.[22]

Contact

Pennsylvania

Campaign Contact:
Friends of David Freed
P.O. Box 872
Camp Hill, PA 17001-0872
Tel: 717-701-5235
Email: info@DavidFreedforAG.com

District Attorney's Office Contact:
David J. Freed, District Attorney
1 Courthouse Sq.
Rm. 202
Carlisle, PA 17013
Email: districtattorney@ccpa.net Tel: 717.240.6210
Tel: 888.697.0371 x6210 or 6211
Fax: 717.240.6164

See also

External links

References

  1. Philadelphia Inquirer, "Election Results 2012," accessed November 7, 2012
  2. David Freed for AG, "About David," accessed February 13, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 David Freed for AG, "Bio," accessed February 15, 2012
  4. Philadelphia Inquirer, "Election Results 2012," accessed November 7, 2012
  5. PoliticsPA, "Burns CM Kelly joins Freed AG campaign," March 8, 2012
  6. The Morning Call, "Freed Op-Ed – Pa. must eliminate statute of limitations on child sex-abuse cases," July 18, 2012
  7. 7.0 7.1 San Francisco Chronicle, "In AG race, GOP's Freed favors video as evidence," July 27, 2012
  8. Penn Live, "Jerry Sandusky:Pennsylvania attorney general candidates draw different conclusions from Freeh Report," July 19, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Legal Intelligencer, "David Freed Responds to The Legal's Questionnaire," April 17, 2012
  10. YouTube, "David Freed for AG-I Represent the Commonwealth," accessed May 10, 2012
  11. PoliticsPA, "Freed lays out general election message in web video," May 8, 2012
  12. Associated Press-The Republic, "Pa. photo ID bill divides candidates for state attorney general along party lines," March 9, 2012
  13. Associated Press-The Republic, "Pa. photo ID bill divides candidates for state attorney general along party lines," March 9, 2012
  14. 14.0 14.1 WITF.org, "Mandatory ultrasound bill still animates AG race," April 12, 2012
  15. The Legal Intelligencer, "David Freed Responds to The Legal's Questionnaire," April 17, 2012
  16. Thedailyreview.com, "Candidates for Pa. Legislature, statewide office speak in Wysox," February 21, 2012
  17. David Freed for AG, "Endorsements," accessed February 15, 2012
  18. PoliticsPA, "Burns CM Kelly joins Freed AG campaign," March 8, 2012
  19. 19.0 19.1 Philadelphia Daily News, "Rape victim's dad called GOP group's ad about Kane a lie," September 21, 2012
  20. PoliticsPA, "Father of rape victim rebukes anti-Kane group," September 21, 2012
  21. 21.0 21.1 PoliticsPA, "3 Days Later, GOP Anti-Kane Ad Still Around (Watch Video)," September 24, 2012
  22. Project Vote Smart, "David J. Freed Biography," accessed July 30, 2012