Why were these judges allowed to plea bargain? Seven years for ruining the lives of thousands of children is an insult to the children and their parents and to society as a whole. We have a sick system and the abuses may start at the top but often occur at the local level with an out of control police force, prosecutors looking to make a name for themselves, lawyers looking to up their billing hours, judges bought off and a government that has typically turned a blind eye to the whole sorry mess.
Anyone with anything to do with the criminal justice system should not be allowed to have interest in prisons. Actually there should be NO private prisons. As soon as prisons became privatized the system was destined for abuse and greed inspired acts.
As bad as this is, and it’s unthinkable, it is equally wrong when adults are wrongly imprisoned by judges with interests in prisons and abused once inside.
A grand jury in south Texas indicted Mr Cheney and Alberto Gonzales, the former Attorney General, on state charges that they blocked an investigation into the mistreatment of prisoners. ¹
Yes, a sitting vice president and an attorney general indicted….Cheney for “profiteering from depriving human beings of their liberty” and Gonzales for obstructing investigations into the wrong doing. And what was the outcome of these indictments?
A judge dismissed indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday and told the southern Texas prosecutor who brought the case to exercise caution as his term in office ends.
“I suggest on behalf of the law that you not present any cases to the grand jury involving these defendants,” Administrative Judge Manuel Banales said in court while ruling that eight indictments against Cheney, Gonzales and others were invalid.[snip]
Even in defeat, Guerra saw the outcome as confirmation of the very conspiracy he had pursued. “I expected it,” he said. “The system is going to protect itself.” SOURCE
Yes, indeed, the system protects itself. It rather sounded as if the judge was threatening Guerra. Americans are now commodities for a privatized prison system and they seem to have little protection or recourse.
The only good news I see on the horizon is the announcement that Virginia Senator Jim Webb (D) introduced legislation to create a blue-ribbon panel that would conduct an 18-month assessment that would then offer recommendations for reform of the US criminal justice system with an eye toward reducing the prison population. I have contacted Sen. Webb’s office voicing support for the panel. His contact information can be found HERE.
Kids for cash
The setting is Pennsylvania coal country, but it’s a story right out of Dickens’ grim 19th-century landscape: Two of Luzerne County’s most senior judges on Monday were accused of sending children to jail in return for kickbacks.
The judges, Luzerne County President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., 58, and his predecessor, Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan, 56, will serve seven years in jail under a plea agreement.
They’re alleged to have pocketed $2.6 million in payments from juvenile detention center operators.
When a federal judge reviews their plea, though, the question ought to be whether the punishment is adequate – along with the judges being bounced from the bench, disbarred, and losing their pensions.
If the allegations are true, Ciavarella and Conahan were involved in a disgraceful cabal far worse than one that merely lined their pockets.
First, the judges helped the detention centers land a county contract worth $58 million. Then their alleged scheme was to guarantee the operators a steady income by detaining juveniles, often on petty stuff. REST OF ARTICLE