PA Ex-Juvenile Judge Sentenced to 28 Years
Remember the corrupt juvenile judge scheme in Pennsylvania the prosecutors dubbed "Cash for Kids?" The scheme involved the judges taking money from private detention centers in exchange for sentencing kids to the facilities.
Defiant former Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr., convicted of racketeering, has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.
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.
....In the wake of the scandal, 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.
Another former judge, Michael Conahan, still awaits sentencing. Originally, they had agreed to plead in exchange for 87 months, but ended up going to trial. From today's report:
You can read some of the letters submitted for his sentencing here.
The jury returned a mixed verdict following a February trial, convicting him of 12 counts, including racketeering and conspiracy, and acquitting him of 27 counts, including extortion. The guilty verdicts related to a payment of $997,600 from the builder.
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