(Image Source: The Philadelphia Enquirer)

 

BY JIM FLINK

 

You're watching multisource US video news analysis from Newsy.

 


A corrupt Pennsylvania judge gets 30 years behind bars. His crime?  Sentencing thousands of juveniles to hard time -- in exchange for millions of dollars in kickbacks from private operators of juvenile detention facilities. The media characterized Judge Mark Ciavarella’s case -- as ‘kids for cash’. Here’s London’s The Guardian -- with the case.

“Ciavarella, known for his harsh and autocratic courtroom demeanour, filled the beds of the private lockups with children as young as 10, many of them first-time offenders convicted of petty theft and other minor crimes. The judge remained defiant after his arrest, insisting the payments were legal and denying he incarcerated youths for money.”

Want an example of Ciavarella’s view of justice when he sat on the bench? Here’s Scranton’s WNEP-TV -- with a parent’s account.

“One woman wrote about her 11 year old son being sentenced for driving her car over a curb and damaging the undercarriage.  She said he was sent away by Ciavarella.  ‘They kept my son for almost two years.  He was 13 years old, and when he came home- he was not the same kid.”

Despite the verdict -- Ciavarella maintained his innocence. Telling U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik, the phrase “kids for cash” made him the picture of judicial corruption.  The Times-Tribune reports his complaint.

"Those three words made me the personification of evil. They made me the devil. They made me the anti-Christ. They made me toxic”

While he also extended an olive branch -- to the kids he sentenced...

“To all the juveniles who appeared before me, I would like to apologize for being a hypocrite and not practicing what I preached."

The Wall Street Journal notes, Ciavarella was none too happy with being on the other side of the bench.

“Ciavarella’s attorneys have objected to parts of the pre-sentence report, claiming it calls for an inflated sentence and wrongly considers misconduct for which Ciavarella was acquitted by the jury...adding that defense attorneys also are expected to reference Ciavarella’s community activities...”

Ciavarella should find some solace in the American justice system.
According to the Examiner, he’s already being given time off for good behavior -- which over the long haul -- could really add up.

“... for every sentence over a year, a prisoner gets 54 days ‘good time’ for every year served.  Based on good time calculations, Ciavarella will be eligible for release on June 8, 2035, after serving 8,702 days and being credited with 1512 days for "good behavior."  Since Ciavarela is 61 years old at the current time, he would be 84 years old when he is released from federal prison.”

USA Today reports, Ciaverella surrendered immediately but it was not immediately known where he would serve his sentence.

 

Transcript by Newsy. 

Corrupt Judge Gets Three Decades Behind Bars

by Charlie McKeague
0
Transcript
Aug 11, 2011

Corrupt Judge Gets Three Decades Behind Bars

 

(Image Source: The Philadelphia Enquirer)

 

BY JIM FLINK

 

You're watching multisource US video news analysis from Newsy.

 


A corrupt Pennsylvania judge gets 30 years behind bars. His crime?  Sentencing thousands of juveniles to hard time -- in exchange for millions of dollars in kickbacks from private operators of juvenile detention facilities. The media characterized Judge Mark Ciavarella’s case -- as ‘kids for cash’. Here’s London’s The Guardian -- with the case.

“Ciavarella, known for his harsh and autocratic courtroom demeanour, filled the beds of the private lockups with children as young as 10, many of them first-time offenders convicted of petty theft and other minor crimes. The judge remained defiant after his arrest, insisting the payments were legal and denying he incarcerated youths for money.”

Want an example of Ciavarella’s view of justice when he sat on the bench? Here’s Scranton’s WNEP-TV -- with a parent’s account.

“One woman wrote about her 11 year old son being sentenced for driving her car over a curb and damaging the undercarriage.  She said he was sent away by Ciavarella.  ‘They kept my son for almost two years.  He was 13 years old, and when he came home- he was not the same kid.”

Despite the verdict -- Ciavarella maintained his innocence. Telling U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik, the phrase “kids for cash” made him the picture of judicial corruption.  The Times-Tribune reports his complaint.

"Those three words made me the personification of evil. They made me the devil. They made me the anti-Christ. They made me toxic”

While he also extended an olive branch -- to the kids he sentenced...

“To all the juveniles who appeared before me, I would like to apologize for being a hypocrite and not practicing what I preached."

The Wall Street Journal notes, Ciavarella was none too happy with being on the other side of the bench.

“Ciavarella’s attorneys have objected to parts of the pre-sentence report, claiming it calls for an inflated sentence and wrongly considers misconduct for which Ciavarella was acquitted by the jury...adding that defense attorneys also are expected to reference Ciavarella’s community activities...”

Ciavarella should find some solace in the American justice system.
According to the Examiner, he’s already being given time off for good behavior -- which over the long haul -- could really add up.

“... for every sentence over a year, a prisoner gets 54 days ‘good time’ for every year served.  Based on good time calculations, Ciavarella will be eligible for release on June 8, 2035, after serving 8,702 days and being credited with 1512 days for "good behavior."  Since Ciavarela is 61 years old at the current time, he would be 84 years old when he is released from federal prison.”

USA Today reports, Ciaverella surrendered immediately but it was not immediately known where he would serve his sentence.

 

Transcript by Newsy. 

View More
Comments
Newsy
www3