Here's a weird wrinkle to the scandal involving two Pennsylvania judges who got paid for sending juvenile offenders to a pair of private detention centers: The state Supreme Court has ordered that the files generated by the tainted cases—involving some 6,500 youths who appeared before Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008—be destroyed. That will give railroaded defendants a clean record, but it will also prevent them from pursuing civil remedies. The court amended its order so that the records of 400 plaintiffs who have already sued Ciavarella will be preserved, but according to The New York Times that still leaves unprotected the "records of about 6,100 remaining youths, who either had not been told of their rights stemming from the judicial corruption case or had yet to request their records." Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan, the judge who arranged the contract with the company that ran the detention centers, received millions of dollars in bribes. After pleading guilty to federal tax evasion and wire fraud charges, they each received seven-year prison sentences.
The Juvenile Law Center has more here.