#1 By: Cory Doctorow, August 6th, 2013 13:01
#3 By: Phasma Felis, August 6th, 2013 13:16
Every now and then, the system actually works for the poor and helpless against the wealthy and powerful.
#4 By: Tom_Fagerland, August 6th, 2013 13:21
Yeah... Except this guy wasn't the wealthy and powerful. These guys were:
On November 4, 2011, Powell was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison as a result of his pleading guilty to failing to report a felony and being an accessory to tax conspiracy. He was incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp, Pensacola, a minimum security facility in Florida, and was released from a halfway house on April 16, 2013. 
Robert Mericle's sentencing in connection with his pleading guilty to failing to report a felony has been delayed pending his testimony in the bribery trial of former Pennsylvania State Senator Raphael Musto, which is scheduled for June. Mericle faces up to three years in prison, although he is likely to receive 12 to 18 months under United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The "kids for cash" scandal unfolded in 2008 over judicial kickbacks at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Two judges, President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan, were accused of accepting money from Robert Mericle, builder of two private, for-profit juvenile facilities, in return for contracting with the facilities and imposing harsh sentences on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of inmates in the detention cen...
#5 By: ocschwar, August 6th, 2013 13:22
Now, now. The school to prison pipeline is greatly discriminatory, and it brought many more black children in front of the judge than white children, but the judge was an equal opportunity slave trader and sold white children to the private prison system too.
#6 By: Gloster, August 6th, 2013 13:28
This makes me wonder... He received several million USD in bribes - and yet this still had to be a profitable operation for the slavers.
The amount of money in this system must be astonishing.
#7 By: Dan Austin, August 6th, 2013 13:29
Well, that's weird: someone in a position of power held accountable. You don't see much of that these days.
#8 By: Phasma Felis, August 6th, 2013 13:32
The ability to sentence people to prison is "powerful" by any definition, and after receiving millions in bribes he was certainly wealthy. The other people involved may have been even more so, but it sounds as if they're all either being punished or headed that way.
#9 By: John Smith, August 6th, 2013 13:35
Nice. Asshole deserves every second.
#10 By: ethicalcannibal, August 6th, 2013 13:36
How much time will he actually serve?
#11 By: Kevin Tieskoetter, August 6th, 2013 13:37
Hey, it's a win-win for the private prison system, right? Either they get poor black kids or they get judges; they get paid either way.
#12 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, August 6th, 2013 13:44
That seems pretty light. TFA says that they threw out ~4,000 convictions after his...little deal... came to light. How many years will that many counts of false imprisonment run you?
#13 By: Christopher Waldrop, August 6th, 2013 13:56
#14 By: Christopher Waldrop, August 6th, 2013 13:59
I can hope that this incident will throw a light on the appalling fact that privately run prisons are a major industry that thrives on putting as many people as possible in jail. I can hope that this will make enough people realize that the system is rife with corruption and abuse that things will finally change.
I can hope. That's about all I can do.
#15 By: Preston, August 6th, 2013 14:04
Another PA Republican and just 100 miles away from State College where Jerry Sandusky, another prominent Republican, was victimizing troubled kids at the same time.
Strangely, any suggestion of a connection always provokes a hysterical meltdown.
#16 By: Floyd Turbo, August 6th, 2013 14:06
The judge is an asshole and deserves triple that time. The headline is misleading though. I'm sure black kids disproportionately suffered under this evil scheme, but it wasn't "black kids for cash" it was all kids who came before his court who were subjected to this. The scheme is evil in its own right without the misleading racial angle.
#17 By: thecleaninglady, August 6th, 2013 14:08
What about all the people around him who stood and did nothing? He was not some all-powerful villain surrounded by minions whose lives were at his mercy. Everyone in that court, including the police officers who arrested, held, transported the children, knew what was going on. This whole affair is despicably racist, inhumane and un-fixable by punishment. It is also an example of corruption: a commitment to money at all costs (to others). Which is a disease raging across the board.
Punishing one person empowers the compliance of everyone around him. And, punishing implies that people will only do right out of fear.
What scares me was that there was not one person in the court around him to say NO and disobey his orders, on day one. This is the only reason he did get away with ever doing this, even with one child, even once.
Even one life ruined in this horrible way is too much.
#18 By: thecleaninglady, August 6th, 2013 14:13
Racism is one of those things that we white people think is extinct and over-hyped.
Statistics, as well as the reality of people of color, show otherwise.
#19 By: hamish strong, August 6th, 2013 14:17
Yeah, these guys were bad apples, and it's great that they were caught, but privatized prisons are a system that just asks for these kinds of shenanigans. If drug enforcement is a "War on Drugs" aren't private prisons simply war profiteering? Although actual, bald-faced war profiteering doesn't seem to ruffle any feathers either, so, never mind.
#20 By: David Emigh, August 6th, 2013 14:18
I wonder if there is any chance he will be required to serve his sentence at one of those for-profit prisons?
#21 By: ocschwar, August 6th, 2013 14:23
"Another PA Republican and just 100 miles away from State College where Jerry Sandusky, another prominent Republican, was victimizing troubled kids at the same time. "
And where hydraulic fracking pollution is running rampant and going completely unregulated.
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