Instead of taking into account the horrible harm he has done to thousands of lives this judge gets to have a minimal sentence for the damage he has done.
This weak sentence reinforces the motive that if it is done for a profit you are untouchable.
Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash.He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.
And not only did he ruin the lives of these children and their families he has eroded what little trust that was left in our system of justice. How can anyone know if the sentence meted out to them is just if this judge was able to do this for so long with the apparent cooperation of parties supposedly regulating our justice system to prevent abuses such as this let him continue for years?
Why do I think it was too short? Because if you count all the time his victims spent behind bars his sentence is obviously lighter.
5:12 PM PT: Apparently this guy was sentenced in 2011. I just happened to stumble upon this in a recent article.
I still insist his sentence is not on par for the damage done. Both to the individual, and society as a whole. The trust in our justice system is what keeps vigilantes from running rampant. He deeply eroded that trust.
Here is some more background on this case and the judge involved:
Prosecutors said Ciavarella sent juveniles to jail as part of a “kids for cash” scheme involving Robert Mericle, builder of the PA and Western PA Child Care juvenile detention centers. The ex-judge was convicted in February of 12 counts that included racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion.
In addition to his prison sentence, Ciavarella was ordered to pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution.
Among the young people exploited by Ciavarella were 15-year-old Hillary Transue, who was sentenced to three months at a juvenile detention center for mocking an assistant principal on a MySpace page; and 13-year-old Shane Bly, who was sent to a boot camp for two weekends after being accused of trespassing in a vacant building.
Another judge, Michael T. Conahan, used his position to shut down the county-run juvenile detention center and redirect juvenile detainees to the private prisons. He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.
The mention of the boot camp puts chills down my spine. One of my news feeds is OpLiberation a group that tracks and tries to save children sent to these camps and similar facilities. Through them the truth of the suffering these children go through sees the light of day
. Many of the OpLiberation participants have first hand experience and are driven to stop this injustice.