If you’ve been following the “Kids for Cash” judicial corruption story out of Pennsylvania, then you’d be interested in the latest news involving the “Kids for Cash” judge.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. is appealing his conviction to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, reports The Associated Press. He was convicted on 12 charges of racketeering and was sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2010.
Ciavarella was accused of taking $2.8 million from two businesses connected to for-profit juvenile detention centers. The judge was convicted of taking this cash in return for sending numerous juveniles to these facilities on bogus or minor charges.
His lawyers argued that the trial court judge, Edwin Kosik, should have recused himself from the case after statements he made to the media and public.
The lawyers also argued that Judge Kosik prevented Ciavarella from mounting an effective defense, and that the evidence presented by the government failed to support a conviction against Ciavarella. Several of Judge Kosik’s actions showed improper bias, Ciavarella’s attorneys allege. The attorneys claim that Judge Kosik’s actions demonstrated a loathing for Ciavarella and the impression that Kosik already believed in Ciavarella’s guilt.
Last we heard, Ciavarella was camped out in an Illinois prison. Earlier this year, we reported that Ciavarella was so impoverished that his court and legal fees for his appeal would be paid by the state. His bribery money has long since vanished, used to pay off debts and the like.