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by Peter Moskos

March 29, 2009

Bad Judge

I can't think of anything much more unconscionable than a selling a kid to jail for kickback money. Then multiply that times 2,000 and you've got Judges Mark Ciaverella and Michael Conahan.
Things were different in the Luzerne County juvenile courtroom, and everyone knew it. Proceedings on average took less than two minutes. Detention center workers were told in advance how many juveniles to expect at the end of each day — even before hearings to determine their innocence or guilt. Lawyers told families not to bother hiring them. They would not be allowed to speak anyway.
The NYT article has more details.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking about this and I don't know why those judges weren't given the aggregated jail time and punishment they gave those kids.

Their actions are bad in a number of respects:
1. Undermines trust in the Justice system... even more.
2. Unjust to those kids.
3. And lays bare the problems of adversarial adjudication for juveniles, because presumably even prosecutors should have said something like, "Hey, this kid did wrong but X sentence doesn't accomplish what is needed for them." But no prosecutor seems to have done that.