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The AP (7/27) reported, "A federal judge was asked Monday to preserve thousands of juvenile court records in a Pennsylvania judicial scandal — evidence of wrongdoing that the state Supreme Court has declared should be destroyed. The high court’s plan to delete more than 6,000 records will prevent youths in northeastern Pennsylvania from pursuing federal civil rights claims against a corrupt judge and keep secret the extent of the judge’s misconduct, lawyers for some of the children asserted in federal court." A previous court order "failed to cover youths who aren’t part of the litigation, but who may be entitled to damages if the case is certified a class action." The New York Times (7/28, A10, Urbina) also covered the story.

Sources say bribery case only the "tip of the iceberg." In a 2000-word article, the Legal Intelligencer (7/27, Grezlak, Strupczewski) reported, "While the federal government’s case against former Judges bcenters on their roles in taking money from attorney Robert Powell, the co-owner, and Robert Mericle, the builder, of a juvenile detention facility and the judges’ alleged abuse of the rights of juveniles sentenced to the facility, sources close to the investigation and inside Luzerne County say the scam some in the media have labeled ‘kids for cash’ was just the tip of the iceberg and only the most blatant example of the corruption overseen by the two judges." The two judges "ran the courthouse like a mafia family, according to several sources. And while The Legal has previously reported Conahan’s ties to admitted felons, including reputed mob boss William ‘Billy’ D’Elia, multiple sources have said that Conahan’s links to organized crime go back decades."

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  1. Gravatar for Strayarts


    Even if one does not ask or pretends not to see the rope and the flashing red flag draped around the philosophical question standing solemnly at attention in the middle of the room, it remains apparent that the mere presence of a private “for profit” driven prison business in our country undermines the U.S Constitution and subsequently the credibility of the American criminal justice system. In fact, until all private prisons in America have been abolished and outlawed, “the promise” of fairness and justice at every level of this country’s judicial system will remain unattainable. We must restore the principles and the vacant promise of our judicial system. Our government cannot continue to "job-out" its obligation and neglect its duty to the individuals confined in the correctional and rehabilitation facilities throughout this nation, nor can it ignore the will of the people that it was designed to serve and protect. There is urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of indifference, apathy, cynicism, fear, and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.

    My hope is that you will support the National Public Service Council to Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) with a show of solidarity by signing "The Single Voice Petition"

    Please visit our website for further information:

    –Ahma Daeus

    "Practicing Humanity Without A License"…

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