Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, August 11, 2011

“Kids For Cash” Judge Gets 28 Years

It’s not enough. But he’s 61 years old so he’ll probably die of old age in prison.

Former Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. — commonly referred to as the “Kids For Cash” judge — has been sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. Between 2003 and 2008 he railroaded 4,000 juvenile offenders into two private juvenile detention centers. In return, then-Judge Ciavarella received a $1 million bribe from the builder of those two prisons.

Some of these imprisoned juveniles were as young as ten, and a lot of them, even first-time offenders, were jailed for offenses — petty theft, getting in a fight at school — that would usually result in probation or a fine.

All 4,000 of Judge Ciavarella’s “convictions” have been overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Unfortunately it won’t be as easy to overturn the emotional damage suffered by these 4,000 families.

I did a post on this story when I first heard about it. And Michael Moore covered it in Capitalism: A Love Story.

Ciavarella’s co-conspirator — ex-judge Michael Conahan — has also been convicted but hasn’t been sentenced yet. Together, the two judges took more than $2 million in bribes from Robert Mericle, the builder of the two detention centers: PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care. They also extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the co-owner of the two facilities, Robert Powell.

During Ciavarella’s trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod told the court:

“The criminal justice system in Luzerne County is ruined and will not recover in our lifetimes.”

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Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

I did too. 2 and a half years ago, almost to the day.

This steaming sack of shit should have spent every hour of those 2.5 years in one of his buddies' establishments.

August 11, 2011 at 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for following this one up.
It's important we see these things carried through


August 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

It's possible one of those kids could have grown up to be an arch-criminal, so better safe than sorry. In fact, we should just lock up all kids until their ready for the cubicle, the army or the factory.

August 12, 2011 at 5:21 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

This is a vivid reminder of what runaway greed can lead to, how far the greedy will go to get what they want. Both those judges had dream jobs and both made good incomes. Neither needed a $1 million payoff. It's just greed, and look where it has gotten them.

Greed is a sickness, and to some extent our society and political system have bad cases of it. It's something parents, schools, churches and others need to talk with the young about.

August 12, 2011 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger harry said...

+ on the Thanks for keeping up with this misery Tom.

Too bad they can't hang them, high.
They really deserve to be drawn and quartered.

August 12, 2011 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Jack Jodell said...

The crooked, greedy jerk should have gotten LIFE!

August 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

You wrote up ma piece! I have following this from the get-go..Jurist has been on top of it from day one. This bag o' shit and his buddy need to be put in the general population..but you know they won't, as they were formally members of the judicial branch of govt. Anywhere there are privately owned prisons I bet this shit goes on.

August 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: I hope his prison time will include every prison nightmare we've all heard about.

Erik: I'm glad this issue didn't fall off the public radar.

Randal: And they shouldn't be allowed to leave their cubicles either, for any reason. There's work to be done.

SW: You're right, this was a perfect example of greed, combined with a system that enables greedy people to fulfill their wildest dreams at everyone else's expense.

Harry: Even drawing and quartering would be too quick for those 2 assholes.

Jack: Hopefully they'll die of old age (or a shanking) while they're in prison.

Dusty: They definitely should be put in the general prison population.

August 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM  

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