Saturday, February 19, 2011
A former juvenile court judge who sent large numbers of children to detention centers was convicted Friday of racketeering for taking a $1 million kickback from the builder of the for-profit lockups, in what prosecutors said was a "kids for cash" scheme that ranks among the biggest courtroom frauds in U.S. history.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella, 61, left the bench in disgrace two years ago after he and a second judge, Michael Conahan, were accused of using juvenile delinquents as pawns in a plot to get rich. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has dismissed 4,000 juvenile convictions issued by Ciavarella, saying he sentenced young offenders without regard for their constitutional rights...
He was allowed to remain free pending sentencing, a decision that galled parents of juveniles who appeared before the judge. Ciavarella often ordered youths he had found delinquent to be immediately shackled, handcuffed and taken away without giving them a chance to say goodbye to their families. Some of the children he ordered locked up were as young as 10.
An excellent question. Most common criminals are immediatly taken to jail once convicted. Why are so many so-called "white collar criminals" allowed to remain free? Might as well get some "time served" credit.