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Pa. judges accused of jailing kids for cash
AP via Yahoo ^ | 2/11/09 | MICHAEL RUBINKAM and MARYCLAIRE DALE

Posted on 02/11/2009 2:54:05 PM PST by mgstarr

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – For years, the juvenile court system in Wilkes-Barre operated like a conveyor belt: Youngsters were brought before judges without a lawyer, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and then sent off to juvenile prison for months for minor offenses.

The explanation, prosecutors say, was corruption on the bench.

In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.

"I've never encountered, and I don't think that we will in our lifetimes, a case where literally thousands of kids' lives were just tossed aside in order for a couple of judges to make some money," said Marsha Levick, an attorney with the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, which is representing hundreds of youths sentenced in Wilkes-Barre.

Prosecutors say Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in lockups run by PA Child Care LLC and a sister company, Western PA Child Care LLC. The judges were charged on Jan. 26 and removed from the bench by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court shortly afterward.

No company officials have been charged, but the investigation is still going on.

The high court, meanwhile, is looking into whether hundreds or even thousands of sentences should be overturned and the juveniles' records expunged.

Among the offenders were teenagers who were locked up for months for stealing loose change from cars, writing a prank note and possessing drug paraphernalia. Many had never been in trouble before. Some were imprisoned even after probation officers recommended against it.

Many appeared without lawyers, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1967 ruling that children have a constitutional right to counsel.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: donutwatch; executethem; juveniles; kidnapping; luzernecounty; missingandexploited; pacorruption; privateprisons; sexoffender
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1 posted on 02/11/2009 2:54:05 PM PST by mgstarr
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To: mgstarr

So much utter corruption at all levels in this country.


2 posted on 02/11/2009 2:55:03 PM PST by mgstarr ("Some of us drink because we're not poets." Arthur (1981))
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To: mgstarr

These “judges” should be beaten to death.

Our Nation is toast, unless “We the People” take back our governmental institutions from the best criminals that money can buy.


3 posted on 02/11/2009 2:57:01 PM PST by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: mgstarr

Yup.

The inmates run the asylum.


4 posted on 02/11/2009 2:57:44 PM PST by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: mgstarr

These kids will sue and the tax payers will foot the bill.


5 posted on 02/11/2009 2:58:03 PM PST by MPJackal ("From my cold dead hands.")
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To: mgstarr

A judge is just a lawyer that is angling for a quicker way to make an illegal buck or to self-enact his own political ideology. Either way, the legal system is largely corrupt.


6 posted on 02/11/2009 3:01:39 PM PST by Gaffer
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To: mgstarr

“Name that Party”

I had to search 10 articles to find their obvious poltical party.


7 posted on 02/11/2009 3:02:01 PM PST by FormerACLUmember
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To: mgstarr; All

We are well on track to 3rd world status with this type of corruption.

It needs to be made an example of when found. Sadly, that is not the case.


8 posted on 02/11/2009 3:03:38 PM PST by Red in Blue PA (If guns cause crime, then all of mine are defective.)
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To: mgstarr

Corrupt judges, eh.

I’ll bet a corrupt judge is *very* popular in prison.

Forget “your honor” — get used to answering to “prison b!tch”.


9 posted on 02/11/2009 3:03:55 PM PST by Nervous Tick (Party? I don't have one anymore.)
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To: MPJackal

These “judges” should go penniless to the Big House. General population.


10 posted on 02/11/2009 3:04:55 PM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: clee1

Yes these judges should be executed....taking bribes from private run prisons...getting government money to break the law....


11 posted on 02/11/2009 3:05:36 PM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (The Threat To Our Soverignty Is Rampant Economic Anti-Americanism)
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To: mgstarr

...and police officers don’t have ticket quotas...and traffic court magistrates don’t take the budget into consideration...


12 posted on 02/11/2009 3:06:39 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: mgstarr
From "Caddyshack"

Judge Smails: I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to them.

13 posted on 02/11/2009 3:10:18 PM PST by Navy Patriot (John McCain, the Manchurian Candidate, makes a Marxist President.)
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To: mgstarr
Their plea agreements call for sentences of more than seven years behind bars.

Well 25 years is more than 7 and 25 years sounds like too light a sentence.

14 posted on 02/11/2009 3:10:51 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: mgstarr

Were these kids Amish?


15 posted on 02/11/2009 3:11:05 PM PST by TET1968 (SI MINOR PLUS EST ERGO NIHIL SUNT OMNIA)
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To: mgstarr

Were these kids Amish?


16 posted on 02/11/2009 3:13:09 PM PST by TET1968 (SI MINOR PLUS EST ERGO NIHIL SUNT OMNIA)
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To: mgstarr

http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/luzernecounty/index?tab=articles


17 posted on 02/11/2009 3:15:52 PM PST by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: mgstarr

This county is so corrupt, the Federal DOJ has a website for this: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/pam/Victim_Witness/Luzerne_county_corruption.html


18 posted on 02/11/2009 3:18:32 PM PST by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: mgstarr
So much utter corruption at all levels in this country.

The judicial system in the country is broken from the Federal to local county levels

Locally, it is designed to put people into a system to extract money and fess to keep the parole officers and public defenders office from being a financial drain on the counties.

Petty and very minor crimes are given parole, community service hours and monthly fees to pay

Anybody who thinks a pubic defender wants you to be free of the judicial system by actually trying your cases is delusional. It's plea down your case, adjudication (which is you are responsible to pay for, later) parole with the accompanying fess and hoops you jump though.

I truly fear for this country because we have lost all sense of judicial restraint for the common man, except for terrorist and politicians who seem to get a pass even for the most obvious crimes

19 posted on 02/11/2009 3:20:04 PM PST by Popman (One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress - John Adams)
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To: mgstarr

Apparently the whole justice system is corrupt, take the case of H. Beatty Chadwick, now incarcerated in his 14th year behind bars on a CIVIL contempt charge. The masters in Black Robes think they are gods.


20 posted on 02/11/2009 3:20:57 PM PST by rednesss (Fred Thompson - 2008)
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To: Born Conservative

They should make one for the whole state of PA. Clink goes the prison door.


21 posted on 02/11/2009 3:21:12 PM PST by darkangel82 (I don't have a superiority complex, I'm just better than you.)
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To: mgstarr
Two typical democrat party elected officials. Michael T. Conahan is followed by Mark A. Ciavarella. Our Congress is now controlled by these type of people.:


22 posted on 02/11/2009 3:22:32 PM PST by FormerACLUmember
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To: clee1

>Our Nation is toast, unless “We the People” take back our governmental institutions from the best criminals that money can buy.

Agreed, and the way things are looking it ain’t going to be a tea party that gets the Federales attention... more like an ammo party.


23 posted on 02/11/2009 3:22:58 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Gaffer

I’m a judge and I’m sickened by this. Please don’t paint us all with the same brush. I actually care about the youth who come before me.


24 posted on 02/11/2009 3:23:36 PM PST by Integrityrocks
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

>Yes these judges should be executed....taking bribes from private run prisons...getting government money to break the law....

Ah, yes. But we all know that even our votes don’t matter, as is the case with all those “recounts”...


25 posted on 02/11/2009 3:24:38 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Ciavarella is the top pic and Conahan the bottom pic.


26 posted on 02/11/2009 3:24:51 PM PST by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: Integrityrocks

Keep an eye on this story. I predict that there will be MUCH more corruption outed in Luzerne County. And after that, there’s plenty to go after in the county directly north of there, Lackawanna County (hometown county of Joe Biden).


27 posted on 02/11/2009 3:27:00 PM PST by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: mgstarr

What, there’s some nasty old lady in the neighborhood who pays the judges to send kids to jail?


28 posted on 02/11/2009 3:28:55 PM PST by scrabblehack
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To: mgstarr
The high court, meanwhile, is looking into whether hundreds or even thousands of sentences should be overturned and the juveniles' records expunged.

I guess the only real silver lining in this tragedy is a whole generation of youth are now conservative after knowing first hand the corruption of a democrat held state

29 posted on 02/11/2009 3:29:00 PM PST by Popman (One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress - John Adams)
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To: FormerACLUmember

To be honest, I don’t trust elected officials in general regardless of party, though I distrust (D)’s more.


30 posted on 02/11/2009 3:29:48 PM PST by mgstarr ("Some of us drink because we're not poets." Arthur (1981))
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To: Integrityrocks
I’m a judge and I’m sickened by this

Your Honor, care to comment on post #19

31 posted on 02/11/2009 3:31:17 PM PST by Popman (One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress - John Adams)
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To: Integrityrocks

My apologies. My opinion is tainted by personal experience and what is happening, by and large, to our laws, their original meaning and intent, and the balance of publicity that is prevalent. Of course, not all of the legal profession is corrupt, but you must admit that your colleagues are not doing a ‘bang-up’ job of weeding out the bad apples.


32 posted on 02/11/2009 3:33:30 PM PST by Gaffer
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To: Integrityrocks

Care to comment on how a guy involved in a divorce proceeding can end up spending 14+ years in jail on a civil contempt charge??? (See the case of H. Beatty Chadwick) No habeus corpus, every appeal denied by higher courts??? Smacks of monarchs and despots to me.


33 posted on 02/11/2009 3:37:41 PM PST by rednesss (Fred Thompson - 2008)
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To: Born Conservative

It is in every county in PA and it’s not just kids that get railroaded either.


34 posted on 02/11/2009 3:38:08 PM PST by sfimom (I know nothing.)
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To: Popman

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws.”
— Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”


35 posted on 02/11/2009 3:38:29 PM PST by mgstarr ("Some of us drink because we're not poets." Arthur (1981))
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To: TET1968
Were these kids Amish?

One teen girl was imprisoned for making a myspace page that lampooned her school's principal so I don't think they were all hardened thugs. Of course, some of them were undoubtedly hardened after they got out.

36 posted on 02/11/2009 3:39:51 PM PST by Drew68
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To: Drew68

I guess there’s no First Amendment anymore.


37 posted on 02/11/2009 3:40:48 PM PST by darkangel82 (I don't have a superiority complex, I'm just better than you.)
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To: mgstarr

Amateurs.
In NY state, it’s called a surcharge.
They soak you for money and let you go so the process can repeat.


38 posted on 02/11/2009 3:41:09 PM PST by Darksheare (Hi, I'm D-sheare, and I am proud to inform you of your Impending Typos!)
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To: mgstarr
Yes, one of my favorite quotes. Here's another

But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

THE LAW By Fredric Bastiat (1801 to 1850)

The Law

39 posted on 02/11/2009 3:48:50 PM PST by Popman (One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress - John Adams)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Ciavarella overdosed on orange-man tanning lotion.


40 posted on 02/11/2009 3:48:58 PM PST by rfp1234 (Phodopus campbelli: household ruler since July 2007.)
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To: Integrityrocks

“I’m a judge and I’m sickened by this. Please don’t paint us all with the same brush. I actually care about the youth who come before me.”

My experience, when my son ran afoul once, was pretty positive. I think one of the things I would like to see changed is to remove every temptation from the justice system by taking the collection of fines and fees away and turning it into the general fund. Ohio had to do that in several cases in which small towns existed only due to the police force and judge. (The town only had twelve residents not part of the government).


41 posted on 02/11/2009 3:49:12 PM PST by bitterohiogunclinger (America held hostage - day 98)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

This wasn’t about fines and fees, it was about huge kickbacks for incarceration in privately run youth facilities.


42 posted on 02/11/2009 3:54:40 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: mgstarr
Particularly in the Peoples Commonwealth of PA. Rendell probably wishes he could do this to every Conservative in the state.
43 posted on 02/11/2009 3:56:28 PM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.)
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To: Nervous Tick

“I’ll bet a corrupt judge is *very* popular in prison.”

Not only will he NOT go to prison he will probably get his full pension w/benefits. After all this is PA we are talking about.


44 posted on 02/11/2009 3:58:54 PM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.)
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To: FormerACLUmember

Did you run across any information about what youth homes they were put in (other than Juvenille prisons)? What to see if there are any links with those.


45 posted on 02/11/2009 3:59:36 PM PST by HollyB
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To: rednesss

Wow. Thanks, I just looked that up.


46 posted on 02/11/2009 4:03:32 PM PST by happinesswithoutpeace (You are receiving this broadcast as a dream)
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To: Integrityrocks

“Please don’t paint us all with the same brush. I actually care about the youth who come before me.”

Sorry. So did those two judges to the tune of what they could make off each child they sentenced.


47 posted on 02/11/2009 4:04:53 PM PST by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.)
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To: Integrityrocks

Various judges I’ve stood before (I’m not a criminal - just property stuff, victim stuff, petty juvenile stuff (traffic tickets)) have all struck me as refreshingly decent.

How could these judges have been so cruel?


48 posted on 02/11/2009 4:10:07 PM PST by Marie2 (Ora et labora)
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To: JSteff

The Feds are handling this. He will go to prison and then some.


49 posted on 02/11/2009 4:12:07 PM PST by darkangel82 (I don't have a superiority complex, I'm just better than you.)
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To: darkangel82

The Feds are corrupt, vindictive and agenda driven.

But they also get it right sometimes.


50 posted on 02/11/2009 4:20:28 PM PST by mgstarr ("Some of us drink because we're not poets." Arthur (1981))
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