Here’s hoping that federal district judge Richard Caputo will agree with a request from plaintiffs’ attorneys that records of over 6,500 juvenile defendants will be preserved.
The case has to do with about 6,500 juvenile defendants whose cases were shepherded through Pennsylvania courts from 2003-2008 by judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan. Federal prosecutors say these judges were corrupt, having taken $2.6 million in payola in exchange for sentencing the children to private prisons.
Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said it would be okay to destroy the records of the approximately 6,100 youngsters who have not (so far) filed a lawsuit against the counties where the judges committed these corrupt acts. (There is no dispute about the records of the 400 young people who have filed a lawsuit.)
Luzerne County is being sued. An attorney for the county told federal judge Caputo that he would be “stepping on the toes of the state court” if he acted in his capacity as a federal judge to order the records preserved.
Huh. This is a county with a court system that would seem to need someone to step on its toes. Keep those records!