August 12, 2011

"Kids-for-cash" judge gets 28-year prison term

Mother of a suicide victim confronts crooked judge
In what may be the longest federal prison sentence ever given in a U.S. political corruption case, a juvenile judge who earned millions of dollars by sending kids to private jails has received a 28-year sentence. A second judge, Michael Conahan, has not yet been sentenced.

As I blogged about in 2009 ("Evil lurked in Luzerne County"), Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciaverella Jr. got kickbacks for sending children to the private lock-up. He even shut down the public juvenile hall so all minors would have to go to the new detention center. He sold children down the river for crimes as minor as writing a prank note or possessing drug paraphernalia.

Investigation of the so-called "kids for cash" scheme led to 4,000 juvenile convictions being overturned. Although 28 years sounds like a long time, if you do the math it's less than three days per juvenile case.

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