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Ciavarella's 'relevant conduct' could bite him

 Surreal- adjective
bizarre: weirdly unfamiliar, distorted, or disturbing, like the experiences in a dream or the objects or experiences depicted in surrealism
Surreal: That is the word to describe the spectacle that was the Mark Ciavarella trial. I didn’t get to spend every day at the Federal Courthouse in Scranton, but I followed closely what happened through numerous media reports. I’ve long been outraged about not just the acts of this former Judge, but a system that stood by and allowed it to happen. We have to demand more answers from the D.A’s office, the Public Defenders and the Judicial Conduct Board. So sad to hear that with all the complaints sent to the JCB, all the protestations from the Juvenile Law Center, in the end, it was Billy D’Elia that spurred the probe. Really, that’s just depressing. Imagine if he didn’t talk, we’d be dealing with this arrogance and corruption today. Meanwhile, during the deliberations of the jury, this former Judge actually became quite talkative with the media, even trying his hand at inappropriate humor regarding how his son Marko got his name.  This was reported in the media, along with his inital backdoor entrance to the courthouse, his waxing poetic of his childhood, and his wife's comments about 'the nightmare' her family was going through.  All of this made us wonder if they had any inkling of the seriousness of the charges and how they had actually brought this on themselves? They were not the victims.
 rage (r j) n. 1. a. Violent, explosive anger. See Synonyms at anger. b. A fit of anger. 2. Furious intensity, as of a storm or disease. 3. A burning desire; a passion.
 Sandy Fonzo gave voice to the angry parents of those children victimized by the greed and arrogance of this former Judge. The kids didn’t have a chance to speak in the case, and I won’t question the prosecutor’s strategy. They are competent people who know what they’re doing. Hopefully, that can be rectified in civil court.  Ciavarella told WILK’s Corbett he slept the night before the verdict came down.  I cannot imagine how anyone can sleep well after tossing kids in jail without benefit of an attorney or giving them at least the proper time to plead their case. 

Attorney Al Flora has done his client a disservice by jeopardizing his chances for leniency at sentencing time. This was not a pissing contest between the prosecutors and the defense. Ciavarella was found guilty of serious charges and it was utterly stupid for there to be any smug attitude. Flora celebrated what he thought was a victory and his indignation against the “Kids for Cash” moniker was what triggered Sandy Fonzo’s rage. There are some things you can’t control and Sandy told us that she had no plans to say anything, but couldn’t help herself when she heard those remarks. Mark Ciavarella didn’t want to talk after the outburst, but I pressed him on the Kids for Cash issue. He couldn’t help but get quite animated denying those charges, a denial during his former plea agreement which upset Judge Kosik so much he withdrew the plea. There’s something called ‘relevant conduct’ which the Judge can take into consideration. Former Atty. Gen. Ernie Preate, who fell into disgrace due to a mail fraud charge years ago, told WILK’s Sue Henry that what Ciavarella says and does outside the court CAN be taken into account when Kosik determines sentencing for Ciavarella. I’m hoping Mark Ciavarella will learn something from what Preate had to say. He said you have to take responsibility for your actions, something the former Judge frequently admonished young people to do, but can’t bring himself to face up to.


Tags :  
Topics : Law_Crime
Social :
People : Al FloraErnie PreateKosikMark CiavarellaMarkoSandy FonzoSue Henry


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