Monday, February 21, 2011


A WICKED former youth court judge, who jailed kids for cash is now facing the big house himself after being convicted of racketeering.
The scheme, which ranks as one of the biggest courtroom frauds in U.S history, saw former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella jail juvenile offenders in return for money from the people running the lock ups.
Prosecutor's alleged that he plotted with Robert Mericle, the builder of the juvenile facilities, to shut down the dilapidated publicly run
youth detention center in 2002.
Mericle then built new facilities, which were run privately and filled with "clients" sentenced there by the judge.   
Since then, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has dismissed 4,000 juvenile convictions issued by the dodgy law man, saying he sentenced young offenders without regard for their constitutional rights.
It's of little consolation to the outraged families of the victims some of whom were just 10 when he ordered them locked up.
Sandy Fonzo, whose son committed suicide last year at age 23 screamed obscenities at the judge and even poked him as he and his attorneys held a news conference on the courthouse steps.
She yelled: "My kid's not here anymore. He's dead. Because of him. He ruined my life I'd like him to go to hell and rot there forever."
Despite being found guilty Ciavarella, who is likely to serve around 15-years maintained the payments were legal and denied that he incarcerated youths for money.

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