Wednesday, February 11, 2009

AP News | The Columbia Daily Tribune

AP News | The Columbia Daily Tribune:
"WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) -- For years, the juvenile court system in Wilkes-Barre operated like a conveyor belt: Youngsters were brought before judges without a lawyer, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and then sent off to juvenile prison for months for minor offenses.

The explanation, prosecutors say, was corruption on the bench.

In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers. ..."
This was not a case of judges meting out harsh justice. It was nothing more than greed and kickbacks from two privately-run juvenile detention facilities, which received fees based on the numbers of incarcerated juveniles. One victim of this corruption was sentenced to three months for lampooning an assistant principal on her MySpace account.

According to this article, the two former judges made a plea bargain that calls for more than seven years behind bars. That seems a little lenient considering the nature of the crime.

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