Disclaimer: Letters to the Editor express the opinion of the writer and are not necessarily the opinion of WBIG ownership, management or staff.
So, the settlement checks have been sent, a corrupt judge is behind bars, and life goes on in Luzerne County. I think not. Mr. Ciavarella also decided the fate of many adults during the last few years of his tenure, during which it has been proven that his ability in a fair, and evenhanded manner had been compromised. Both the Interbranch Commission On Juvenile Justice, and the State Supreme Court are on record as saying that “Ciavarella engaged in wholesale rights violations over a period of many years.” Judging by the responses of some adult defendants that I have conferred with, although Mr. Ciavarella may not have been profiteering off of these defendants, he stilled ruled the court with a pompous, impatient fist.
There are numerous accounts of adult defendants and their lawyers sitting in front of the judge for mere seconds as he decided the matter at hand without even giving these parties an opportunity to speak. How this went on, unchecked, for such a long time I guess we’ll never know, but one thing that is sure is the fact that Mr. Ciavarella has impacted the lives of many of our fellow Luzerne County residents, almost exclusively, in a negative way.
The main point of this story is to bring to light a question that has been on my mind ever since the “Kids for Cash” fiasco first came to light. If it has been proven that Mr. Ciavarella was performing his duties in a less than honest, fair, state of mind, then should not all of his judgments and penalties be found null and void? Is it unreasonable to expect that all of the fines that he imposed on people who may or may not have been guilty be refunded with interest? What about those who spent time behind bars based solely on the judgment of a man proven to be corrupt? They can never get that time back, not to mention the untold effects that this incarceration may have had on their lives and relationships.
Don Shovlin, Wilkes-Barre