I write as a former prosecutor to endorse Bernie Cantorna for district attorney.
Our law directs that prosecutors should adhere to the highest ethical standards. This is so because the criminal justice system concentrates great power in their hands, and concentrated power always carries the potential for abuse unless those who wield it are people of conscience and integrity dedicated to the public good.
Bernie graduated in the top 10 percent of his class from the University of Wisconsin’s first-tier law school. With his undergraduate degree in accounting, Bernie could have walked straight into a six-figure salary at a corporate law firm. Instead, he chose work as a public defender because of his strong commitment to fundamental ideals of justice, fair adjudication and professional integrity.
Bernie and I both began our careers as public defenders. The skills I acquired during my defender days transferred seamlessly into my work as a prosecutor with the Centre County District Attorney’s Office, where I maintained a 96 percent conviction rate, advised police on dozens of investigations and successfully litigated many appeals. Bernie has the additional advantage of years of success in plaintiff’s litigation. Much in the fashion of a prosecutor, a plaintiff’s attorney brings legal actions against people who have committed private wrongs.
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Bernie Cantorna has the character, the vision and the experienced judgment to navigate our court system out of its present troubles. He is an accomplished litigator, an educator and a leader. I recommend him to the voters on the highest terms.
Sean McGraw, State College