Thursday, August 11, 2011

He'll probably die behind bars

I note with satisfaction that Mark Ciavarella has been sentenced to 28 years imprisonment. We've met him in these pages before. MSNBC reports:

A longtime judge has been ordered to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice bribery scandal that prompted the state's high court to toss thousands of convictions.

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in federal prison for taking $1 million in bribes from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as "kids-for-cash."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed about 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, saying he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.

Ciavarella, 61, was tried and convicted of racketeering charges earlier this year. His attorneys had asked for a "reasonable" sentence in court papers, saying, in effect, that he's already been punished enough.

"The media attention to this matter has exceeded coverage given to many and almost all capital murders, and despite protestation, he will forever be unjustly branded as the 'Kids for Cash' judge," their sentencing memo said.

Federal prosecutors accused Ciavarella and a second judge, Michael Conahan, of taking more than $2 million in bribes from the builder of the PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care detention centers and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the facilities' co-owner.

Ciavarella, known for his harsh and autocratic courtroom demeanor, 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.

There's more at the link.

Personally, I'd have sentenced him to the sum total of all the terms of incarceration he illegally and corruptly handed down to the 4,000-plus youth offenders whose sentences had to be nullified because of his criminal conduct. I think that would probably have amounted to rather more than 28 years! On the other hand, 28 years in jail will give him plenty of opportunity to meet behind bars some of those he illegally incarcerated. (They weren't all shining examples of honesty, uprightness, and law and order, to be sure.) I daresay some of them may wish to take the opportunity to . . . ah . . . discuss the matter with the former judge.




Unknown said...

"...saying, in effect, that he's already been punished enough."
Nope. Not nearly.

True justice is sweet.

skidmark said...

The only flaw in your plan, Peter, is that he's going to a federal facility - and most likely a "Club Fed" one at that. All of his victims that he might otherwise have met are probably in one of the Pa. state facilities.

On the other hand, even geriatric inmates in locked "rest homes" seem to have an innate dislike for those who mess up the lives of little children for money.

In closing - I hope he does spend the rest of his life known as "The Kids for Cash Judge".

stay safe.

Old NFO said...

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy :-)

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many kids who were on the edge, who needed to be nudged in the right direction, were instead pushed towards lives of crime because of a sentence from that bastard?