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Student Satirist Gets 3 Months; the Judge, Likely More

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-everyone-else-in-pa-is-clean dept.

The Courts 689

ponraul writes "When Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., 58, sentenced Hillary Transue, 17, on a harassment charge stemming from a MySpace parody of her high school's assistant principal, Hillary expected to be let off with a stern lecture; instead, the Wilkes-Barre, PA area teen got three months in a commercially operated juvenile detention center. In a reversal of fortune, Ciavarella and his colleague, Judge Conahan, 56, find themselves trying to plea-bargain an 87-month sentence in Federal correctional facilities relating to a kick-back scheme that netted the pair $2.6 Million and PA Child Care 5000 inmates." True poetic justice would be for these corrupt, callous judges to serve their sentences in the same kind of environment to which they were happy to dispatch juvenile defendants.

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3 months for satire? (5, Insightful)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886805)

im suprised myspace isnt filtered in china

Re:3 months for satire? (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886913)

And apparently 3 for you for a humourous (and sad) comparison.

Re:3 months for satire? (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887717)

Don't buy it. You can't really "satire" your high school principle; they're unlikely to meet the "public figure" criteria that would protect the person who is making fun of them from legal repercussions if anything strayed over the line.

That being said, the sentence in this case was wildly inappropriate. The page could never have been mistaken for real libel due to the inclusion of text explicitly stating that the page is a joke. On top of that, jail time? For a juvenile?

Amusingly, it's high profile, geek-enraging cases like this that probably got him caught. If he'd kept sending kids to juvy for misdemeanors, it wouldn't have been covered so widely, and we wouldn't have given a damn.

Poetic justice? (5, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886839)

True poetic justice would be for these corrupt, callous judges to serve their sentences in the same kind of environment to which they were happy to dispatch juvenile defendants.

Also operated on commercial grounds? Because the very concept of a commercial prison to me seems...something out of a really bad science fiction movie....

Re:Poetic justice? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886957)

Then check this out: http://www.againstpuryear.org/ [againstpuryear.org]

Re:Poetic justice? (3, Insightful)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886989)

Because the very concept of a commercial prison to me seems...something out of a really bad science fiction movie....

Welcome to 21st Century America... get ready for a bumpy ride!

Re:Poetic justice? (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887585)

They corrupted the judgment system and left psychological scars on 5000 people, and they did it for profit.

They should be executed. If they are not executed by the system, then they should be executed by the people, lynch mob style.

Re:Poetic justice? (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887045)

Also operated on commercial grounds? Because the very concept of a commercial prison to me seems...something out of a really bad science fiction movie....

It seems like something out of a particularly prescient sci-fi novel, to me.

We the People of the United States have allowed our allegedly-elected representatives to reinstitute slavery.

In any case, we already have slavery by proxy in this country, because we import literally tons of goods made with slave labor in China.

If you think we did away with slavery in the USA, think again.

As a related but not identical issue, disenfranchisement of felons means that you don't have to care how many of them you have - they can't vote, so even if you assumed that your vote counts, they would have been prevented from changing the system.

Re:Poetic justice? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887445)

Slavery is a terrific way of doing business! That is unless you are the one made into a slave, in which case it is brutally unfair and inhumane.

Re:Poetic justice? (2, Informative)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887323)

Stephenson's Snow Crash [wikipedia.org] had 'em in 1992. I'm sure he was far from the first.

Re:Poetic justice? (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887643)

While an excellent book, the first modern thing that came to my mind was Death Race, the recent motion picture.

Re:Poetic justice? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887793)

I love people who's minds are limited by what movies they see.

Re:Poetic justice? (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887333)

The problem isn't that it was a commercially operated prison. The problem is that the payment structure was set up in such a way as to benefit the operator for an increased number of incarcerations. It shouldn't just be illegal, it should be unconstitutional for any contract or law to provide benefit to one party when another is found guilty of a crime.

Re:Poetic justice? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887691)

Isn't that the whole point of damages?

Re:Poetic justice? (5, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887819)

The problem isn't that it was a commercially operated prison.

It is the sole duty of the operators of a commercial prison to maximize revenue for the shareholders.

That is at odds with the purpose of the law, which is (theoretically) to uphold justice.

As long as there is money to be made from incarcerating people, you WILL have sentences that will send people to prison who should not be there. Corruption is inevitable when the incentive exists.

Re:Poetic justice? (4, Informative)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887465)

No, something out of the Eisenhower Administration. Yes Ike, the guy that lead the Allied Forces to victory over the Nazis.

Back when he was President, the Office of Management and Budget first cam up with Circular A-76 [google.com] . It describes what is, and is not, an "inherently governmental activity". If it is inherently governmental, then an actual government employee must do it. Things like signing contracts, signing checks or handing out money, formally making arrests, sentencing convicts. But other than those kinds of things, a contractor can be used, since the work is essentially just administrative and not decision making. It is a bit of a slippery scale, and politics jumps in there too, but that is the basis for it.

Usually A-76 is just used to decide if a US government agency should be closed, downsized and contracted out. But the flip side of it is that if an agency wants to expend, they can use it for justifying hiring a contractor to do the extra work. Ever since Reagan this has been the preferred way to do any sort of new work in the US government. The Iraq War took it to new levels, with paid contractors being deployed to do as much work as soldiers, marines, and airmen.

What about the kids? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886841)

So do all the kids still have these marks on their records?

If so then these judges did permanent damage to these individuals. The judges should be charged with much more serious crimes. One count for every person they fucked over. Judges especially need to be held to higher standards, put them in prison for life.

Re:What about the kids? (3, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887159)

So do all the kids still have these marks on their records?

Juvenile records are sealed when you reach the age of majority (18), and can neither be looked at (theoretically) nor used against you (again, theoretically) as an adult.

Re:What about the kids? (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887367)

That's not really the point. All of these kids should have their convictions vacated, and the DA's office should determine which of them, if any, they want to re-try.

The records may be sealed, but they still exist, and they can still be accessed in reality. Furthermore, the kids still have the feeling that they've been railroaded by the system. Doing the right thing here could at least give some of them the impression that the system is capable of doing more than unjustly imprisoning them. Carrying around a chip on their shoulder that the system is out to get them will greatly impact their direction in life.

Re:What about the kids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887495)

That is correct. If a cop is found to be dirty later, every person that they arrested and put in jail can get their conviction vacated. Why not the same for the judge? It should be since they have much more control. They can easily "railroad" a trial.

Re:What about the kids? (2, Insightful)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887635)

While I agree that all the kids should have their convictions vacated & do not think it's a reasonable use of resources to retry any of them with the possible exception of a kid convicted of a violent crime who's sentence would be shortened by the vacating of the conviction. Pretty much all, if not all, of them should get a pass on this, the state had their shot & the state f'd it up through the corruption of the person presiding over the trial for personal gain.

Re:What about the kids? (1)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887785)

According another article I read, the state is expunging the records of all of these kids. IMO they should be compensated as well.

Re:What about the kids? (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887369)

Juvenile records are sealed when you reach the age of majority (18), and can neither be looked at (theoretically) nor used against you (again, theoretically) as an adult.

That may be true in some places, but it's not guaranteed to be true - even in the US. I talked to a court clerk in my hometown about this (no, I don't have a record myself), and was told that if I did have a record and wanted it sealed, I'd have to appear before a judge to request the sealing.

Re:What about the kids? (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887595)

They may be sealed, but most official documents where they want to find out your criminal history will ASK you to provide any criminal history, whether or not it was sealed, under penalty of perjury.

This goes for government jobs and firearms licensing.

The only place where sealing a record may protect you, is when it comes to superficial background checks by non-government employers.

Re:What about the kids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887633)

So do all the kids still have these marks on their records?

Juvenile records are sealed when you reach the age of majority (18), and can neither be looked at (theoretically) nor used against you (again, theoretically) as an adult.

So wait, if they're sealed to never be looked at again... why aren't they destroyed instead?

Re:What about the kids? (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887315)

The judges should be charged with much more serious crimes.

I'm thinking it would be lovely if they could be charged with kidnapping in each instance, with sentences to be served consecutively. They should definitely be convicted of federal felony charges. Speaking of federal, I wnat to see the IRS all over this. There's bound to be some tax evasion going on in connection with that front company.

Re:Think of the children (1)

Metapsyborg (754855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887703)

The judges should be locked up for at least 20 years. When an individual picks up the mantel of public protector the laws that govern them should be much harsher than for normal citizens; they are given authority over us "normal" people and should be punished in the harshest manner if they abuse that trust. The same goes for pigs, soldiers, etc.

Re:What about the kids? (3, Insightful)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887377)

Putting them away for life just makes them a taxpayer burden. They aren't a threat to the public in any way. Instead, they should be punished appropriately. Obviously, disbarred, fined heavily since they likely aren't scraping for cash after all those kickbacks, lots of community service, loss of retirement/pension income, and a nice big felony record that will keep them from ever getting a decent job again.
-N

Re:What about the kids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887411)

The judges are one problem, and I'm glad they're getting what they deserve; my only hope is that the fuckers running these prisons and profiting off of it (keep in mind, they probably pulled in far more money than the judges did) have to get butt raped in big boy jail.

Note that in some of these cases, the profit came right out of the pockets of the people that got fucked:

As a result of the judges' corruption, parents were forced to pay for the "wrongful incarceration" of their children, the suit said. Some parents had their wages garnished, public assistance benefits taken and social security benefits seized.

(Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h88VgykKcn87UozOYaETJS6yufvgD96B0ID01 [google.com] )

Re:What about the kids? (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887583)

Judges especially need to be held to higher standards, put them in prison for life.

Amen to that Brother.

No... (3, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886847)

TRUE poetic justice would see them incarcerated in the juvenile detention facilities themselves, surrounded by the very kids they sent there.

Re:No... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886937)

But still, if it sticks, the judges go to prison, lose their job, their legal and judicial career, and their pensions.

Re:No... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887765)

Seems the normal ratio was 10:100 (10 to detention out of 100 defendants), he sent 25:100, so that's 3000 extra juveniles?

Imagine 3000 youths (and their friends, parents, relatives) feeling like this:

"I felt like I had been thrown into some surreal sort of nightmare," said Hillary, 17, who was sentenced in 2007. "All I wanted to know was how this could be fair and why the judge would do such a thing."

Y'know the "child abuse"/"protect the children" card is popular nowadays, if he really wrongly sent juveniles to prison, then he's practically a serial child abuser.

Re:No... (1)

ForrestFire439 (1458475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887007)

Judges? Convicted of throwing people in jail for money? These guys wont last 24 hours in a federal penitentiary. They're as good as dead.

Re:No... (2, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887069)

They'll plead to a minimal security facility and won't be in gen pop, much like cops are when they go to jail.

Re:No... (4, Funny)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887165)

TRUE poetic justice would see them incarcerated in the juvenile detention facilities themselves, surrounded by the very kids they sent there.

...with the kids reading poetry, preferably of Vogon origin, to them.

Re:No... (1)

ccool (628215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887439)

Actually, TRUE poetic and FAIR poetic might be a little dissimilar, because I would prefer that every case of juvenile incarceration done by these judge be reviewed.

While this is happening, many kid may have been incarcerated with no real base... who knows

I do believe that "judge corruption" is one of the worst crime ever. Whitout "clean judge" there is no justice. I also believe everyone, judge and whoever tried (and actually did) to corrupt the judge should be in prison and have some severe impact on everyone.

In one way, no judge should feel to be "over the law" and they should be scared to be judge... Anyway, I must be day-dreaming again, because this kind of thing won't ever happen. I have never seen any judge be hard on their colleges/peers.

Now a new motion picture! (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887659)

Starring Adam Sandler

Recourse (2, Interesting)

zaffir (546764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886861)

What sort of recourse does the girl have? Are there protections preventing her from suing for having three months of her life wasted?

Re:Recourse (5, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886947)

She obviously spends a lot of time on MySpace, so she's probably already wasted a lot more than three months anyway.

Re:Recourse (4, Insightful)

wwwillem (253720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887067)

For her this will be much worse than just three months wasted. I guess she will now have a "criminal record". Which means that the rest of her life she will have problems getting visa's, she will have rather tough job interviews, etc. Because often enough there is the simple question "were you ever.....". And those questions aren't distinguishing between what the conviction was for, and how long ago it happened. Very sad....

Re:Recourse (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887325)

3 months = misdemeanor = little problems. Also she is a juvenile so getting the record sealed will be easy.

Re:Recourse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887547)

What sort of recourse does the girl have? Are there protections preventing her from suing for having three months of her life wasted?

Whatever it is, it would have to be class action. Probably against the state for employing corrupt judges. But they're elected down there aren't they? So I don't know what kind of liability the state faces in this case, since the judges represented the will of the people. (Obviously the judges failed in this regard, but the people chose them).

justice business (5, Insightful)

gowtah (566023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886877)

That's what you get for setting up a privately-owned for-profit detention system.

worst scum (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886881)

These two scumbags are in my state. And I'm in law school, so they also represent my profession. I've of course been following this story on the local media.

They sent kids to privately owned and operated juvenile detention facilities in exchange for kickbacks. They ruined the lives of children for money.

Hangings too good for 'em.

Re:worst scum (1)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887511)

These two scumbags are in my state. And I'm in law school, so they also represent my profession. I've of course been following this story on the local media.

I am too. This, in a nutshell, is why people like you and me need to stick it out, pass the bar, and begin practicing; so worthless pricks like this get swiftly and brutally brought to justice.

Re:worst scum (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887729)

The Standard Speaker and Pottsville Republican had some really good articles on this the last few days. I live in Schuylkill County, they're the best papers we have.

Satire? (2, Insightful)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886903)

I didn't see the myspace page or know anything about that case, but he should have been disbarred for that ruling alone if it was strictly satire.

Re:Satire? (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887179)

Students don't have those kinds of rights, at least I'm sure that was the argument used.

Re:Satire? (1)

molog (110171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887417)

Wrong. Students do have those rights. They should not face punishment from the government for their exercising free speech. The school, however, can punish them in the form of detention, suspension or expulsion.

Molog

Re:Satire? (5, Funny)

fosterNutrition (953798) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887621)

... should have been disbarred for that ruling ...

Dismembered. The word you are looking for is dismembered.

Re:Satire? (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887763)

Well the Public Defendant or Lawyer could have appealed the sentencing.

Might as well paint a target on forehead (4, Insightful)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886929)

True poetic justice would be for these corrupt, callous judges to serve their sentences in the same kind of environment to which they were happy to dispatch juvenile defendants.

I dunno, man. I'd imagine that being a former judge in a prison is right up there with being a former prosecutor. I wouldn't be surprised if they have to keep him on 24-hour isolation and/or suicide watch. He deserves much worse, but I suspect this will not be a cakewalk for him either.

Re:Might as well paint a target on forehead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887063)

I wouldn't be surprised if they have to keep him on 24-hour isolation and/or suicide watch. He deserves much worse, but I suspect this will not be a cakewalk for him either.

Depends on the type of prison he ends up in. I don't think he'll be going a Federal PMITA [urbandictionary.com] prison. Probably a nice resort with fences instead of bars.

Re:Might as well paint a target on forehead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887553)

yea he should be helped with his suicide rather than prevented from it

One simple question sums it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886935)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Re:One simple question sums it up (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887571)

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

Only 87 months? (5, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886975)

1. PA Child Care should be shut down. If their business model depends on crooked judges, their business model is wrong.

2. Now every single case that ended with juveniles sentenced there should be reviewed. (Looks like they're only looking at the one judge's 5000 cases. They need to look at all of them.) The former judge should be billed for all expenses.

3. Whoever paid the bribes, and whoever authorized them, and whoever knew about this business model and kept quiet, also need to be tried.

4. An appropriate punishment would be a month in jail for every month spent in the facility for every inmate he wrongfully sent there.

5. No profit.

Re:Only 87 months? (5, Informative)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887185)

2. Now every single case that ended with juveniles sentenced there should be reviewed. (Looks like they're only looking at the one judge's 5000 cases. They need to look at all of them.) The former judge should be billed for all expenses.

They are all being reviewed [standardspeaker.com] .

3. Whoever paid the bribes, and whoever authorized them, and whoever knew about this business model and kept quiet, also need to be tried.

They are actually the ones that turned them in [standardspeaker.com] .

Re:Only 87 months? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887347)

on (2), the state needs to pay out compensation for those wrongly imprisoned, and bill the ex-judge to make it back. The kids (and their families) should not have to go without actually recieving due compensation because the ex-judges clearly won't have enough assets to compensate all of them.

Re:Only 87 months? (1)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887753)

Those black folks who are released after 25+ years in prison because they are somewhat belatedly found innocent (and who got there through sheer negligence/racism) never get any government compensation either. why should those kids get anything?
AFAIK the state cannot be sued, and cannot/need not admit guilt if they do something wrong. All they are required to do is release you [and perhaps say "oops"].

Re:Only 87 months? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887425)

Yeah, I'm sorry but we are so worried about child molestors but realistically what these guys did is probably worse to the long term welfare of these childrens mental health. In this case I would say the corporate death penalty for PA Child Care is appropriate and RICO charges against all involved parties.

Re:Only 87 months? (1)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887533)

And every dime made should go to the kids who's lives were ruined. I would make those judges pay the 2.6 million and the company running the center 10 times that.

Re:Only 87 months? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887761)

Even in the current "mortgage fraud isn't a crime" and "CEOs looting their companies isn't a crime" environment, bribing a judge is still going to be treated as seriously. You can't ignore corruption that is that blatant.

2. will happen no matter what, since every single such juvenile just got grounds for appeal, and it'll be great case history material so someone will represent either for a cut of any settlement or pro-bono for the civil liberties defender types. The state might try and recover costs, but it won't be by sending a bill it'd be plain old suing.

It sounds like a "we can prove they got paid, proving it was a bribe is harder, so charge them with tax related offenses on that income" case. Which depending on what the plea bargaining gave them might leave open bribery related charges later - those are always going to be hard to prove though.

I would expect prosecutors to go after them for everything they possiblt can. Corrupt judges destroy all faith in the legal system, it's the worst case scenario for the legal system and so the all sides will want to clean house.

There is actually (4, Informative)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887023)

A class action lawsuit being brought against the judges [standardspeaker.com] . Here is a link to the local paper, The Standard Speaker, about the pleas [standardspeaker.com] .

The judge has has his pension and pay terminated [standardspeaker.com] . I'm from around that area and it's actually big talk. If you search through the Standard Speaker site you'll see some comments from kids that were sent there.

An AC says before if these marks are still on the records for the kids. Well why wouldn't they be? Just because the sentencing was wrong doesn't mean the crime wasn't committed.

Re:There is actually (0)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887089)

Since they are juveniles, their records are wiped when they turn 18.

Re:There is actually (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887539)

Although, there is the little known fact that when doing things like applying to law school you are still expected to disclose (and explain)d prior convictions even if you were a juvenile and your record was expunged. I imagine the same is true when you apply to the Bar. I went through this process and was surprised to find this wording on many schools' applications.

I'm sure they will have no problem explaining this away given how much attention the situation has received, but it will still be a nuisance.

Re:There is actually (4, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887157)

> Just because the sentencing was wrong doesn't mean the crime wasn't committed.

You're making the assumption that even though the sentence was wrong, the judgement was not. You're assuming that a 'non-corrupt' judge would have also found them all guilty.

Re:There is actually (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887277)

The proper sentence in this case should have been an ARD program and probation. In PA ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition)will allow you to expunge your record if after probation if it's your first offense.

Re:There is actually (1)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887167)

these judges would sentence defendants outrageously to make a buck. how can you blindly trust the verdict that they pass or the instruction that they give a jury (if applicable).

corrupt judge = new trials, or there is no justice to be found in the courts.

Re:There is actually (4, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887225)

An AC says before if these marks are still on the records for the kids. Well why wouldn't they be? Just because the sentencing was wrong doesn't mean the crime wasn't committed.

At least in the case of Hillary Transue there was no crime, satire is constitutionally protect free speech. The judge was obviously making up crimes so he could sentence more kids to jail. Every one of the cases this judge had will have to be reviewed and retried, or if that's too expensive, they'll just have to expunge the records of everyone.

Re:There is actually (1)

oboreruhito (925965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887307)

"An AC says before if these marks are still on the records for the kids."

IANAL, but juvenile disciplinary records are sealed in most/all states, and tough to open. Turn 18 and most people won't know you ever went unless you commit a crime or they, um, have access to a corrupt public official. Like this one.

Re:There is actually (1)

aquabat (724032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887383)

An AC says before if these marks are still on the records for the kids. Well why wouldn't they be? Just because the sentencing was wrong doesn't mean the crime wasn't committed.

Doesn't mean the crime was committed either. Since the judge didn't get paid unless the kids got sentenced to PA Child Care, the judge's rulings on the cases are suspect. He had a personal motivation to find them guilty. At the very least, the rulings should be discarded and the kids should be given new trials with a new judge. IANAL; can a lawyer sharpen this argument up for me?

Re:There is actually (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887399)

An AC says before if these marks are still on the records for the kids. Well why wouldn't they be? Just because the sentencing was wrong doesn't mean the crime wasn't committed.

Yes but in these cases, a judge had the choice for leniency especially when the offender had no records. In the article, the judges sentenced juveniles to harsher penalties than even the prosecutors wanted in some cases. Satirizing your school principal shouldn't get you 90 days in a center. Getting into a fight at school was also 90 days. In both cases neither defendant had previous records.

Re:There is actually (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887483)

First of all, thanks for posting those links - it was nice seeing more information about this case.

An AC says before if these marks are still on the records for the kids. Well why wouldn't they be? Just because the sentencing was wrong doesn't mean the crime wasn't committed.

You make a good case that just because the sentencing was wrong, that it doesn't mean that the crime wasn't committed. However, I feel that in a situation like this, the whole process is tainted. As another poster pointed out in response, are we sure that another judge would have sentenced them to the same? If all of these cases were tried before a jury, then that's one thing, but you really need to have a clean judge to ensure that something in the process does not influence the wrong decision. Still, most of the cases are being reviewed, which I think is the proper thing to do.

Re:There is actually (0, Troll)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887835)

But you have to remember that a cop has to press the charges to be heard before the judge, and a prosecutor argue the case. So I would think if the case was worth trying or pressing charges, then the crime did happen.

Re:There is actually (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887613)

Well why wouldn't they be? Just because the sentencing was wrong doesn't mean the crime wasn't committed.

That's just sick, dude. If the judge was getting kickbacks for sending people to prison, then that casts a huge doubt on the guilt of the defendent. Release or re-trial. Either way is better than an automatic assumption of guilt.

Dont worry (1)

paulgrant (592593) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887065)

I hear judges don't do to well in prisons.

Law? (1)

archieaa (961120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887071)

To paraphrase the movie Braveheart, The trouble with law, is that its practiced by lawyers.

America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887103)

Ahh, the sweet sound of justice. Too bad it happened this late, after these two retards had been living "the American Dream" and doing it "the American way" for that long...

Re:America (1)

pyster (670298) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887273)

One thing china has right, you screw up like this and they put you right to sleep. Justice would be the public execution of any official who breaks the public trust. These people ruined the lives of others and in my opinion have forfeit their their own. One can only hope they are shanked in prison by someone who has elected themselves the karmic enforcer.

USA: 5% of worlds pop., 25% - worlds prisoners (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887131)

Most prisoners are in for minor drug offenses. When will people realize that THE MAJORITY of judges are corrupt / receiving 'kickbacks' from the corrupt system, in which they get paid more and are employed longer for the more people the lock up.This not only goes for judges but for everyone employed in corrections, including the police and prison guards, the prison industrial complex, etc.

With the states, the federal government, running massive deficits w/ no end in sight, how long can we afford to wait?

Legalize and regulate, no person should be a criminal for voluntarily putting a substance in his own body, no matter how harmful the substance is, so long as they don't put any other individuals at risk (eg, permit sale, possession, and use, but still prohibit driving under the influence of anything and giving these substances to minors). Anything short is anti-free-society.

Re:USA: 5% of worlds pop., 25% - worlds prisoners (1)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887833)

It's the Amerikan Gulag

They got off easy (1)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887139)

Little over 7 years seems hardly enough considering the scope of their crimes.

Re:They got off easy (4, Insightful)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887605)

If you were a judge would you heavily sentence another judge? (Not that I know this is the case, there could be maximum sentencing guidelines at work here.)

Some things should not be run for profit (5, Insightful)

NoNeeeed (157503) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887201)

There are some things in this world that should never be run by private companies for the purposes of making a profit.

Prisons are one of them. The idea that people can make a profit by locking people up is repugnant. Much in the same way that mercenary forces are generally a bad idea. The last people you want are those that *want* more war because that way they make more money.

The profit incentive is fine in most cases, and generally I'm pro the free market, but there are some things we don't want to be encouraging.

Paul

Re:Some things should not be run for profit (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887573)

I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately we've created both of those situations in the US. The Iraq war has/had hundreds of billions of dollars going to paid mercenaries. Blackwater (one of the mercenary companies) has recently had plans of expanding their business to INSIDE the united states.

Need Special Police Force and Judiciary (1)

resistant (221968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887203)

We desperately need a special police force and judicial system that has the power to arrest, try and jail or execute *only* public officials, with no power over ordinary citizens. Seeing a few hundred corrupt judges and prosecutors and police officers and government employees hanging from yardarms or rotting in prison will do wonders for shaping them up.

Re:Need Special Police Force and Judiciary (2, Funny)

Nexus7 (2919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887299)

And of course, a special police force and judicial system to watch over this special police force and judicial system.

Nice (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887231)

We are just one step from similar judges sending people to slave camps and another to a soylent green processing plant.

horrible yes...but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887247)

why is this a slashdot story?

I'm from there and this is only the tip of the iceberg of corruption.... but why is this on slashdot?

Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell et al. (4, Interesting)

wurble (1430179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887263)

I will preface this by saying I don't know what charge they "convicted" the teenager of.

1) Isn't satire completely protected under the first amendment, ESPECIALLY if it is explicitly stated that it is satire? The page she created had a disclaimer on it.

2) The assistant principal is a public figure, and thus, under Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, can't even sue for emotional distress, let alone have someone convicted of a criminal offense.

The sentence needs to be immediately overturned, the record expunged, and the family should have the right to sue at least the judge, if not the state.

Re:Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell et al. (1)

SkeezerDoodle (1178213) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887485)

I totally agree. Once you are placed in the public eye, you open yourself up for satire. It comes with the territory. While it is fortunate that the records of these children will be "locked away" once they turn 18, those records are still there. They aren't wiped off the face of the Earth as some may think. It is a process of appealing to have the record expunged which may be costly (as nothing in the court system is ever free.) Furthermore, if one of these children is released prior to turning 18, they still have that mark on their record should they apply for a job. This is truly sad that justice is for sale...even when children are involved.

Re:Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell et al. (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887557)

I will preface this by saying I don't know what charge they "convicted" the teenager of.

It's given in the article; Harassment

Re:Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell et al. (1)

wurble (1430179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887837)

Ah, I just noticed that. Missed it on my first skim through the article.

My statement remains valid. Under Hustler Magazine, Inc. vs Falwell, a public figure cannot sue for emotional damages. Harassment, a more serious charge, but stemming from the same core action, thus cannot be the resultant sentence for her, even if she hadn't put in the disclaimer. With the disclaimer, this even more blatantly is protected under free speech.

Seriously: Execute them (5, Insightful)

wytcld (179112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887297)

Judicial corruption should get zero tolerance. For each of the 5000 kids sent to these private prisons for the profit of the judges, the judges should have an equal number of months to the kids' sentences removed from their lives. The punishment must fit the crime. Clearly, for the aggregate theft of life from children, these judges deserve death.

What these judges have done, in terms of total injury to others, is far worse than a single murder. They have also undermined the faith of the public in the justice system. This faith can only be restored by reforms to the justice system so that punishments truly fit the harms caused by the crimes.

Until we have a justice system in which men such as this face a sentence of death, we really don't have justice. Similarly, why is Bernie Madoff still walking around free? Steal $50 from a liquor store, go to jail. Steal $50 billion, and you're treated far better. And what about Dick Cheney? Our system is about punishing the poor and minorities in order to enforce a class system, not about really going after the psychopaths who are pushing our civilization over the edge.

Politically correct name? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887463)

commercially operated juvenile detention center

A Mall?

Why? (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887661)

My first thought (maybe not my best one) in this case is "Why?"

Why would the judge get kickbacks for jailing juveniles (or others)? Where is the money to be made by the detention center?
Is this obvious evidence of a system of what amounts to forced slave labor?

If that is the case, then this whole "rights erosion/surveillance state" gets scarier by the minute. If you can be jailed by a corrupt (kick-back $)system that can deem almost anything a crime and which is watching many actions you take outside your home and online suddenly the system can arbitrarily harvest enough (slave) labor to do what it wants. Dystopian corporate future, anyone?

I know it's just one judge, but how many more of them are there? Maybe I just haven't had enough coffee, but this is a little scary.

Am I missing something?

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