In a story—from the Philadelphia Inquirer—feeding the Marxist narrative so favored by many criminologists in the academy, of a corrupt system filling jails and prisons rather than criminals making individual choices, the judge at the heart of the corruption gets a well-deserved sentence.
“SCRANTON - As his moment of sentencing drew near Thursday, former Luzerne County Court Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. was still trying to minimize his crimes. No way, he said, had he sold "kids for cash."
“The prosecutor would have none of it.
"In essence, Mr. Ciavarella's argument is, 'I was not selling kids retail,' " Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon A.D. Zubrod said. "We agree with that. He was selling them wholesale."
“Minutes later, U.S. District Judge Edwin M. Kosik slammed Ciavarella, 61, with 28 years in prison. It appeared to be the longest federal prison sentence ever given in a U.S. political corruption case.
“In the Scranton area, Ciavarella was a key target among many in a sweeping and still-ongoing federal corruption probe. Prosecutors have brought charges against nearly 30 officials, including two other judges, numerous court officials, a former state senator, school board members, and county officials.
“Ciavarella, mild-appearing with metal-frame glasses and thinning hair, showed no emotion as his punishment was announced. He chose to begin serving his time immediately, not requesting the grace period of several weeks or months that many defendants seek before reporting for imprisonment.
“His lawyers pledged to appeal his sentence, saying they might argue it violates the Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual" punishment. Even with time off for good behavior, Ciavarella is likely looking at a quarter-century in prison.”