Posts Tagged With: Montana Judges

Prosecutors, Judges And Misconduct

Can Prosecutors Be Sued By People They Framed?

Can Prosecutors Be Sued By People They Framed?

Can prosecutors be sued by the people they frame? 

Do prosecutors have total immunity from lawsuits for anything they do, including framing someone for murder? That is the question the justices of the Supreme Court face Wednesday.

On one side of the case being argued are Iowa prosecutors who contend “there is no freestanding right not to be framed.” They are backed by the Obama administration, 28 states and every major prosecutors organization in the country.

On the other side are two black men — Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee — men who served 25 years in prison before evidence long hidden in police files resulted in them being freed.

Listen to the story and continue reading at Can Prosecutors Be Sued By People They Framed  at the NPR website.

Prosecutorial Misconduct

Now we go from prosecutors to judges.

Selling America's Children

Selling America’s Children

A couple of rouge judges in Wilkes-Barre, in the Northeast part of the state, destroyed the lives of thousands of young people because the judges were on the take.

These “people” (in quotes because I really don’t know what they are) abused their power as judges.  I will not value them as people by using their names.

The PA Supreme Court vacated case after case because these guys set up a scam where the juvenile court system became the feeder system to a bunch of for-profit detention centers.

These judges rushed kids through the juvenile justice system for truly minor offenses, rewarding them with 3 months at these prison camps.  Many times the kids had no legal representation and were immediately whisked away to do their time.

Now that these clowns are caught, they are trying to weasel their way through the system.  It appears the legal system can’t truly handle their own.  Evidently a deal was cut to allow these guys on the street after doing about 7 years.

Judges Found Guilty

Judges Found Guilty

Continue reading at Huff Post Politics

If you do not think these sort of things happen, you are living in a very isolated world.  If you think this does not happen in Montana, you need to start reading. There is documentation and evidence all over Montana with this sort of stuff and it is time for it to come out and get the state on the right track again.

Categories: Wake Up America | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2012 In Review! Thank You, We Are Going To Make A Difference!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 42,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Categories: Thank You Montana | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shame, Shame Representative Mike Menahan

Representative Mike Menahan HD 82

I have been receiving so many complaints about Representative Mike Menahan,Vice Chairman of the Law and Justice, and his attitude towards the public that were at the Law and Justice Committee for public comment. They felt he belittled them and disrespected them from his attitude and derogatory  comments. He believes that all complaints or concerns that have been brought before the Committee are false by families and the public.  He stated that out in the open before everyone and they can be found on the public transcripts.  The families also were outraged beyond belief that the Parole Board Chairman stated upon testifying that he believed it was all…….. C R A P…yes, they said it was spelled out.  These families drive there from all over, some with health problems, financial burdens and sit there at these meetings all day, for two days, just to be heard.  Does Representative Menahan think that these families would go through all of this if it was false?  Is this how he has operated the whole time that he has been a county attorney?  Has he been more about just getting the conviction and not really seeking the truth?  Does he not believe in accountability?  That even those in office have to be accountable, not just the citizens?  Who does he think put him in office in the first place?   Every single person that attended the Law and Justice Committee Meeting said it was very apparent, very obvious of those that are for Prisons for Profit.   We all wonder what are they exactly getting out of this system?  Do they receive compensation, bonus, kickbacks, percentage, profit…..what?  But these meetings are about the public, not about power hungry state departments and cohorts that want to keep everything hush, hush so they can continue to do whatever they want.   They don’t want these families and individuals to make the whole committee and Montana aware of what is really going on within the system. 

One family member that was there representing not only her husband but the injustices and the ongoing treatment to inmates within the Montana system had a major concern about threats that they were receiving.  Senator Jim Shockley, the chairman of the Law and Justice Committee brought out her husbands sentencing documents.  She had a valid question that Senator Shockley wanted an answer too also.  Why was DOC and other staff threatening her and her husband Allen Whetstone, The Incarcerated Montana Fireman, already, that he would not get out when he was eligible for parole.  That no one gets out on their first try.  That the parole board would require it differently than what the judge sentenced.   Now Mr.Whetstone has not even gone before the board yet.  His wife took it upon herself to meet with Executive Director Fern Osler, Representative Ken Peterson had recommended she meet with her about this situation and to find out who is actually in control of a persons parole release.  DOC or the parole board.  So, with Senator Shockley already knowing what was stated in the sentencing documents,  Fern Osler knowing what the situation was as she and Mr.Whetstone’s wife went through everything during discussion, the other board members being present at the Law and Justice Committee having an idea also……Representative Mike Menahan took it upon himself to take the documents away from Senator Jim Shockley, the Chairman and read it himself.  We don’t know if he thought Senator Shockley did not know how to read a sentencing document or not. Although Senator Shockley has been a practicing attorney himself, much longer than Representative Mike Menahan.  Anyway,  Representative Menahan had to go above and beyond and read the rest of the documentation…stating what the conviction was about.  Then he stated very arrogantly “See there is always two sides to every story.”    Senator Shockley had to remind him that the Law and Justice was not discussing that issue.  They were discussing the issue of DOC or the Parole Board over-riding a judges sentence and him being threatened that he would have to take a class that the judge said needed to be taken on the outside and for Mr.Whetstone to pay for it himself.  

Hmmmm….we are all trying to understand where Representative Mike Menahan was coming from.  Everyone pretty well had a dumbfounded look on their face as Representative Menahan seemed to lose his self control on this issue, because it did not make sense otherwise.  Those documents first of all are public record.  The wife has allowed us to share the entire story on the internet that goes world wide.  She also handed the internal investigative documents to another organization that gave more information than what the public was entitled too or what the public is ever allowed to see, so they could sue for the rights to it. She has met with many organizations and has been very straight-forward about the case.  She met with the Executive Director Fern Osler.  Not sure if there is not too many people that she has not met with as of yet and she is still working on it.  She wants a national network to pick the case up.  The Innocence Project also has the documents.  Soon we want a third side of the story to come out. 

This is really kind of scary to hear families being alarmed and upset with how he looks down on the public.  He has been a county attorney in Lewis and Clark County, a Representative of HD 82 and now he is going to be a judge because there is no one else running against him.  It is very obvious that he does not want corruption exposed. He does not want accountability in the Justice system. He does not think they need to answer to anyone.  He believes that the prison system should have the right to over-ride a judge. (Wonder if he will feel that way when they start over-riding his sentences.  After all they don’t believe judges know what they are doing in the first place.)  Montana be very, very careful, because if any of you ever go before this judge, it might be when hell freezes over that you get true justice.  In my opinion after hearing all of this information that he stated himself,  he is going to be a hardcore judge that believes everyone is guilty before they even go to court.  May God have mercy on those future souls.  

Categories: Montana DOJ, Montana Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honor Student Diane Tran Gets A Clean Record.

Honor student Diane Tran gets a clean record.

Diane Tran is a 17-year-old who works two jobs to support herself and her siblings since her parents moved away — and she was thrown in jail for a night because she was exhausted and missed school. But after a few days and more than 100,000 signatures supporting her on a petition on Change.org started by Samuel.  Oh, the judge in Diane’s case dropped all charges against her.

  • This is what it is all about.  Standing up to injustice. We were a part in this effort.  For those of you that signed the petition for this young girl, we all thank you! 
Categories: Common Sense | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

MONTANA JUDGES – THEIR CLUB AND THE BENEFITS

No Prison Time For Former Butte Judge, Sentenced To Probation

SILVER BOW COUNTY

By Alyx Sacks

POSTED: 1:25 pm MDT April 13, 2012

                     

Leniency for corruption

BUTTE, Mont. — Former Butte city judge Steve Kambich received five-year probation Friday in his sentencing hearing in Butte federal court.

Kambich, 53, pleaded guilty to felony bribery taking more than $13,000 from defendants in at least 10 court cases he heard between 2008 and 2009.

Montana U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen sentenced Kambich to pay restitution of $5,000, serve 200 hours of community service, with no less than five hours a week, in addition to the five-year probation. Judge Christensen claims the sentence is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary.”

In court, Kambich’s attorney David Vicevich, explained to Judge Christensen that his client has taken full responsibility, has been publicly humiliated, and has lost both his jobs.

“Mr. Kambich is the ideal candidate for a probationary sentence because his offense is non-violent, he poses no risk to the community; he has accepted responsibility for his actions,” Vicevich said in court documents.“He already has suffered great punishment through the public humiliation and embarrassment caused by this offense and the loss of public office, his other employment, and his loss of judicial and law enforcement certification.”

Judge Christensen asked both Kambich and his attorney why Kambich accepted bribes.

Kambich offered no explanation and said he is seeking counseling both with a physiatrist and through his church to get a better understanding.

Kambich’s family as well as community members were present during the sentencing.

Kambich was facing a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000.00 fine.

Source: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/30889117/detail.html

Former Butte Montana city judge, Steven Kambich, convicted of bribery in federal court was sentenced this week to paying $5000 in restitution, far less than even the total of the bribes he accepted, and five years of probation.  He faced fines of $250,000, a prison sentence of up to 10 years and 3 years of supervised release.  Kambich offered guilty pleas in January for accepting bribes in excess of $13,000 in exchange for dismissing traffic tickets and other citations.  He was accused of a variety of other corrupt practices unbecoming of any human being let alone an elected official.

In a January 13, 2012 press release related to the case, U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter said:

“There are few positions in the law more powerful than that of a judge. Judges have the authority to change individual lives with their actions. Former Silver Bow County City Judge Steve Kambich pled guilty today in Federal Court to accepting bribes – usually in the form of cash or checks – for dismissing traffic and other misdemeanor tickets. The prosecution of Kambich sends a strong message that public corruption will not be tolerated and when detected it will be prosecuted.”

Chris Lindsey faces up to 25 consecutive life sentences for adhering to state medical marijuana laws.

Sounds more like a slap on the wrist to me, especially when the punishment is contrasted with sentences facing former medical marijuana caregiver Chris Lindsey.  Although he has not been accused of breaking any state laws, the Missoula attorney is facing federal mandatory sentences ranging from 690 years to 25 consecutive life sentences with an additional 85 years for good measure.

What ever happened to the guidelines contained within the infamous Ogden memo? In the memorandum, the Department of Justice said that it was committed to the “efficient and rational use” of its resources and that prosecuting patients and distributors who are in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state laws did not meet that standard.

Lindsey may indeed have been in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with Montana’s medical marijuana laws, but we may never hear about that in court as evidence indicating adherence to state laws is inadmissible in prosecutions for violating federal laws.

Bribery by a corrupt judge warrants a more lenient sentence than those that medical cannabis providers receive? In what sort of world is the dismissal of charges in exchange for cash a lesser crime than advising a medical marijuana business of their rights and responsibilities under state law?  Even monsters like Charles Manson have parole opportunities periodically.  This isn’t the case in federal cases where inmates serve 85% of their sentences at minimum.

Life presents us with many injustices and often reforms are only possible after exhausting struggles.  Familiarize yourself with jury nullification at http://www.fija.org.  Education is the answer.  Please share this story in any way possible-  via social media, telling everyone you know, writing a letter to the editor, however you see fit. A tyrannical federal government affects us all.  The oppressive muscle of the fed knows no bounds- now it is medical marijuana, but what is next?  Guns?  Healthcare?  Education?  Whether you use medical marijuana or not, please don’t be so naive as to believe that this doesn’t affect you.  I am haunted by this injustice.  Law enforcement is in theory a comforting sight.  Good people aren’t supposed to fear federal agents yet when I see anyone with a badge, I am faced with the reality that one day I could be in a similar position as Chris.  Although I am not a marijuana user nor am I a marijuana provider, simply discussing becoming one is a federal crime.  Most of us commit federal crimes every day without even realizing it.  Chris is your neighbor, your friend, your mentor, your brother, your father, your husband, he is me and he is you.

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”          –Charles de Montesquieu

Source and More Links: http://montanafesto.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/the-facade-of-federal-justice/

HERE WE HAVE ANOTHER JUDGE……

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A Butte-Silver Bow County justice of the peace faces another 22 felony counts of fraudulently obtaining dangerous drugs.

The charges were filed against Bob Lee in District Court in Jefferson County on Monday, three days after a dozen felony charges for the same crime were filed against him in Anaconda.

Prosecutors say Lee obtained 35 methadone prescriptions from doctors in Anaconda, Whitehall and Butte in 2010 and filled them at separate pharmacies to conceal the amount of methadone he was using. Investigators also say a confidential informant told them the judge bought pharmaceutical narcotics from a suspected drug trafficker in Butte.

Lee, who is in his late 60s, is scheduled to appear in District Court in Anaconda on Feb. 8, though it remains unclear if both sets of charges will be combined into one case.

The Montana Standard reports neither Lee nor his attorney, Bill O’Leary, returned calls seeking comment Monday.

Lee received a one-year deferred sentence Friday after pleading no contest to misdemeanor negligent endangerment. Prosecutors said he drove to the courthouse under the influence of methadone on Nov. 13, 2010.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Butte-JP-faces-22-more-felony-drug-charges-2843630.php#ixzz1s2dXAGGQ

Justice Robert Lee appears in Jefferson Co. Court Before Judge Loren Tucker

http://helenair.com/justice-robert-lee-appears-in-jefferson-co-court/vmix_066a1d54-52a7-11e1-ba13-0019bb2963f4.html

AND YET ANOTHER JUDGE…..

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BILLINGS  — After a Lewistown judge slapped his female law clerk’s butt with a folder, the clerk first sued her boss. Now she wants his job.

Attorney Britt Long characterizes her election bid to replace Judge E. Wayne Phillips on the bench in Montana’s 10th Judicial District as a battle against an entrenched status quo that doesn’t want her to speak up.

To Read More: http://montanacorruption.org/2012/04/05/montana-law-clerk-charges-judge-then-files-for-judges-job/

I could go on and on showing you the documentation of more judges.  This is completely ridiculous. What I find more ridiculous is that I’ve sat in the courtroom and have listened to one of these judges use the same recommendation that was given but instead of any leniency he gave the maximum and then some.  Must be nice to be part of the Montana Judges Club.  Must be nice to be any part of the Montana Justice Department System.  They seem to have all the “Go Free Jail Cards” while the rest of us get sent to prison forever.    What do you think my fellow Montanans?  

Categories: Montana DOJ, The Real MT | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Is Montana Cherry-Picking Inmates?

Arizona’s Private Prisons: A Bad Bargain

No Private Prison

Sasha Abramsky

April 4, 2012   |
In mid-February, the Arizona chapter of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) released a report on the impact of private prisons in the state. Private Prisons: the Public’s Problem concluded that Arizona overpaid for private prison services between 2008 and 2010 to the tune of
$10 million, and that the services it received were shoddy at best: malfunctioning alarm systems, fences with holes in them, staff who didn’t follow basic procedures and many other failings. All told, the state’s auditor general documented 157 serious security failings across five facilities that hold in-state prisoners. (There are three additional private prisons.) At least twenty-eight riots were also reported. (The report’s authors hesitated to give exact numbers on the latter, concluding that private prison administrators tried to hide evidence of riots from the public.)

Since 1987, Arizona’s Department of Corrections has been legislatively mandated to produce cost and quality reviews for its private prisons, in part to judge how they compare with state-run facilities. The data on costs were collected, but in recent years, it took a lawsuit by the AFSC for the Department of Corrections to release quality comparison data. Finally, in December it complied. The results were damning.

“The main purpose of a prison is to reduce crime,” said the AFSC’s report. “The only measurement available of how well a prison performs this function is its recidivism rates.” Yet, “none of the corporations operating in Arizona measure recidivism.” The report noted that at the private facilities there were higher staff turnover and lower staff qualifications, as well as more cases of violence than in state prisons.

One might think that, faced with evidence that the state isn’t getting enough bang for its buck, Arizona legislators would rethink their commitment to putting ever more prisoners into private facilities. Instead, in a move Orwellian even by the gutter standards of Arizona politics, they’ve simply tried to bar the state from collecting the evidence. On February 27 the legislature proposed a budget bill eliminating the requirement for a cost and quality review of private prison contracts. According to the AFSC, “The move would ensure that the public would have no way of knowing whether the state’s private prisons are saving money, rehabilitating prisoners, or ensuring public safety.”

Why have Arizona’s politicians taken this route? Part of the explanation may be that many of them have received large campaign contributions from private prison companies like GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America. Although Democrats and Republicans have benefited, most of these influential dollars have gone to Republicans. These corporations have literally helped write legislation that is good for business (like SB 1070, the state’s notorious immigration bill, passed in 2010).

Since 1997 Arizona’s prison spending has increased from
$409 million per year to more than $1 billion today. Yet the state is still playing catch-up: it never has enough money to pay for its incarceration obligations. That’s because Arizona’s prison population continues to soar; it’s currently at nearly 40,000—and rising fast. In an attempt to manage this growing population, the Department of Corrections has moved since 1986 to privatize services. Its current five-year plan notes that “with over 600 current contracts the Department uses private contractors for many functions, including private prisons that house inmates in-state; correctional health services” and much more.

Private prisons profit only when they can cherry-pick the inmates—setting the conditions for those they’ll accept and rejecting violent or seriously ill inmates—and can make the state cover the hidden costs of running a prison, such as training drug-sniffing dogs and processing release paperwork.


To Read Complete Source: http://www.thenation.com/article/167216/arizonas-private-prisons-bad-bargain

Arizona Governor Brewer received campaign funds from CCA.   CCA and GEO contribute to campaign funds.  Our own Governor and Attorney General have received funds according to reports. This whole concept is bizarre.  But then again it is taking money from us so someone else profits from it…not us, not the community and definitely not the inmates.  They cherry-pick the inmates?   Montana, does this sound familiar?   Inmates in Montana that have either been set up or those that have committed legitimate crimes receive lengthy sentences and never see parole?  The cherry pickers are soaking up the gravy train.  Montana, it is time to stop that train!

Categories: Montana Politics, MT Speaks Up | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

MONTANA – LAND OF INCARCERATED

Private Prison Companies Want You Locked Up

Press Release

Published: June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011
Contacts:
Zerline Hughes – 202.558.7974 x308 / zhughes@justicepolicy.org
Jason Fenster – 202.558.7974 x306 / jfenster@justicepolicy.org

Private Prison Companies Want You Locked Up
New report highlights political strategies of companies working to make money through harsh policies and longer sentences

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over the past 15 years, the number of people held in all prisons in the United States has increased by 49.6 percent, while private prison populations have increased by 353.7 percent, according to recent federal statistics. Meanwhile, in 2010 alone, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group, the two largest private prison companies, had combined revenues of $2.9 billion. According to a report released today by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), not only have private prison companies benefitted from this increased incarceration, but they have helped fuel it.

Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies, examines how private prison companies are able to wield influence over legislators and criminal justice policy, ultimately resulting in harsher criminal justice policies and the incarceration of more people. The report notes a “triangle of influence” built on campaign contributions, lobbying and relationships with current and former elected and appointed officials. Through this strategy, private prison companies have gained access to local, state, and federal policymakers and have back-channel influence to pass legislation that puts more people behind bars, adds to private prison populations and generates tremendous profits at U.S. taxpayers’ expense.

For-profit companies exercise their political influence to protect their market share, which in the case of corporations like GEO Group and CCA primarily means the number of people locked up behind bars,” said Tracy Velázquez, executive director of JPI. “We need to take a hard look at what the cost of this influence is, both to taxpayers and to the community as a whole, in terms of the policies being lobbied for and the outcomes for people put in private prisons. That their lobbying and political contributions is funded by taxpayers, through their profits on government contracts, makes it all the more important that people understand the role of private prisons in our political system.”

Paul Ashton, principle author of Gaming the System, noted, “This report is built on concrete examples of the political strategies of private prison companies. From noting campaign donations, $835,514 to federal candidates and $6,092,331 to state-level candidates since 2000, to the proposed plan from Ohio Governor John Kasich to privatize five Ohio prisons followed by the appointment of a former CCA employee to run the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Gaming the System shows that private prison companies’ interests lie in promoting their business through maintaining political relationships rather than saving taxpayer dollars and effectively ensuring public safety.”

Other organizations have also investigated the private prison industry and have their own serious concerns about their political influence. “In the South and Southwest, the private prison industry has consistently targeted poor communities,” said Bob Libal the Texas Campaigns Coordinator for Grassroots Leadership. “We believe that it’s important to fight, particularly in these communities, to end for-profit incarceration and reduce reliance on criminalization and detention, and ultimately build lasting movements for social justice. This important report helps shed light onto this particularly troubling industry.”

Shakyra Diaz, policy director of ACLU of Ohio added, “Research has shown that private prisons do not save taxpayer dollars and can in fact cost taxpayers more than public prisons. Additionally, privatizing prisons may undermine cost effective sentencing reforms and increase recidivism rates. Despite these well­-documented concerns, private prison companies continue to promote policies that put money in their pockets and people behind bars.”

If states and the federal government are interested in providing cost-effective, proven public safety strategies, investments in private prison companies will not help achieve that goal. Gaming the System includes a number of recommendations for criminal justice policies that are cost-effective and will improve public safety:

  • States and the federal government should look for real solutions to the problem of growing jail and prison populations. A number of states are already utilizing innovative strategies for reducing the number of people behind bars in their state. Reducing the number of people entering the justice system, and the amount of time that they spend there, can lower prison populations, making private, for-profit prisons unnecessary, and improving public safety and the lives of individuals.
  • Invest in front-end treatment and services in the community, whether private or public. Research shows that education, employment, drug treatment, health care, and the availability of affordable housing coincide with better outcomes for all people, whether involved in the criminal justice system or not. Jurisdictions that spend more money on these services are likely to experience lower crime rates and lower incarceration rates. An increase in spending on education, employment and other services not only would improve public safety, but also would enhance and enrich communities and individual life outcomes.
  • Additional research is needed to effectively evaluate the cost and recidivism reduction claims of the private prison industry. With conflicting research on both the cost savings and recidivism reduction of private prisons, additional research is needed to determine the accuracy of such claims. Moreover, a clearer dialogue surrounding the difficulties of comparative research between private and public facilities would also be beneficial in providing a better understanding of the implications of prison privatization.

“Private prison companies have been very successful in their effort to promote harsher sentencing policies and the privatization of correctional systems, and when they win, we all lose,” added Velázquez. “Taxpayers lose when their money is used to generate profits for shareholders and to promote policies that increase incarceration; communities lose when policies proven to be ineffective for public safety are pushed through state legislatures, and people involved in the criminal justice system lose when they are locked up in underfunded and sometimes unsafe facilities.”

To read Gaming the System CLICK HERE. For additional information, please contact Zerline Hughes at (202) 558-7974 x308 or zhughes@justicepolicy.org. For more JPI reports on the criminal justice system, please visit our website at www.justicepolicy.org.

The Justice Policy Institute, based in Washington, DC, is working to reduce the use of incarceration and the justice system and promote policies that improve the well-being of all people and communities. For more information, please visit www.justicepolicy.org.

*NOTE: The National Institute on Money and State Politics is constantly updating their figures. Numbers cited in the report is current as of May 3, 2011. For the latest data, please visit their website.

Posted in Press Releases               http://www.justicepolicy.org/news/2615                   

This number only continues to grow as of to date.  Projected plans for the future in Montana is that the inmate population is going to skyrocket!                                                                                           

CODE OF THE WEST-LOCK EM' UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY

 

Categories: MT Speaks Up | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

COURT JUDGES, TAKE NOTICE

Former judge gets 28 years for scheme to unjustly jail youth

August 12, 2011|By the CNN Wire Staff

A former Pennsylvania juvenile judge was sentenced to 28 years in prison Thursday after being convicted for a scheme to make millions off unjustly incarcerating young people, court officials said.

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella was also ordered by a federal judge in Pennsylvania to pay about $1 million in restitution.

The sentence was four times the 87 months sentence that Ciavarella and federal prosecutors had agreed to when he pleaded guilty to charges in 2009.

But that plea deal was thrown out by a federal judge and the case went to trial.

Ciavarella was found guilty in February of 12 of 39 racketeering and fraud charges for accepting millions of dollars in bribes from friends who owned detention centers to which he sent juveniles.

The case made national headlines when Ciavarella was confronted by a distraught mother outside a courtroom after his conviction.

Sandy Fonzo’s 17-year-old son, Edward Kenzakowski, spent six months in a detention center after Ciavarella sentenced him for possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to Fonzo, her son, who had no prior record, was never able to recover and eventually took his own life.

“He (Ciavarella) killed his spirit,” Fonzo said at the time, “He crushed him, and he didn’t help him.” Fonzo said her son was full of resentment and pent-up anger after being sent to the detention center.

“He was just never the same,” Fonzo said.

She said in February she came to the courthouse believing Ciavarella would be taken straight to jail. But when she found out he was going home and would not be sentenced until later, she was shocked and angered, and began shouting at Ciavarella.

Fonzo’s confrontation was captured by television cameras.

“Do you remember me?” Fonzo screamed lunging toward Ciavarella, “Do you remember my son?” she screamed again. “He’s gone,” she cried, “He shot himself in the heart, you scumbag!”

Source: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-08-12/justice/pennsylvania.judge.sentenced_1_ciavarella-detention-center-sandy-fonzo?_s=PM:CRIME

Other Related Articles: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44105072/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/pennsylva#.T2yNkxF8CSo

This is happening nationwide, but we have a severe problem in Montana with this very issue.  This cannot go on.  It is being exposed.  

Montana’s DOC and judicial system shows signs that this is happening in our state. We have over 455 inmates per 100,000 residents compared to North Dakota at 230,Utah at 232, Minnesota at 189, and Washington at 265 incarcerated per 100,000 residents. DOC has a contract with CCA that calls for over 170 FTE’s with a penalty for being short staffed that is not enforced, we have police misconduct that is covered up, we have county attorney’s that lie, we have judges that give lengthy unreasonable sentences, and we have dishonest parole officers that fabricate stories and just don’t do their jobs. The system smells from top to bottom.  

Categories: MT Speaks Up | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

AMERICA: LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE INCARCERATED

MONTANA STATE PRISON

MONTANA STATE PRISON

MONTANA STATE PRISON

MONTANA STATE PRISON

MONTANA STATE PRISON

Categories: MT Speaks Up, The Real MT | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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