Re: Scandal of the day

On 23 Feb 2009 23:10:06 -0500, "Keith F. Lynch" <kfl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Today's scandal is judges in Pennsylvania accepting kickbacks for
sending teens to private prisons. See

I agree that they shouldn't have done that. But the sentences
mentioned don't seem particularly excessive to me, given what the
teens allegedly did (with the possible exception of "mocking a
principal on MySpace," whatever that means). And there's no claim
that any of the teens were innocent.

The article ends with:

"What do these kids see of the legal system and of authority
figures?" Amy Swartley asked. "These kids see people who abuse
their power. Now, we have a whole county and generation of
children who have lost trust in the system."

Why is that seen as a bad thing? I wish I had learned that lesson
earlier. After all, juvenile convictions are automatically expunged.

According to the reports I saw two weeks ago, there are the following

1. This appears to be pure and simple corruption. It has been a
fundamental point of due process since at least 1926 that the court
may not be biased, including that the judge may not benefit from the
result of the case.

2. The sentences were well off the mark of what would have been
expected from other judges and in Pennsylvania generally.

3. The judges reportedly had a practice of refusing to appoint
counsel for indigent defendants. Putting aside Keith's distaste for
the public defender system, those defendants who asked for counsel
were entitled to it, and may have benefitied from it.

4. We don't know how many of the defendants would have been found
delinquent had they been provided due process without a clearly biased

Dan, ad nauseam

Relevant Pages

  • Re: Scandal of the day
    ... including that the judge may not benefit from the ... counsel for indigent defendants. ... lost trust in the system" being a bad thing. ...
  • Re: Scandal of the day
    ... sending teens to private prisons. ... including that the judge may not benefit from the ... counsel for indigent defendants. ... that losing trust in the system is not a bad thing, ...
  • Re: Just some good ol church-goin boys out for a little fun
    ... >>>Teens sent to prison for lynching ... >>>in state prison. ... >>>But the judge was unmoved. ... >>>five years probation and 400 hours of community service. ...
  • Re: Judges fury at insolent defendant
    ... but for one the insolence of defendants has finally proved too much. ... answering "yep" when questioned at Gloucester Crown Court. ... The judge replied: "'Yes' is the word, ... "Dumb insolence is a wonderful military offence that allows you to put ...