Monday, March 9, 2009

Charles Grodin Opines On The Fairness Of Judges' Sentences

Crooked judges are real criminals, but prison sentences will hardly fit the crimes
Monday, February 23rd 2009, 11:29 AM

Brandon Hein, a California boy, was part of a drunken brawl among teenagers. One boy stabbed another who bled to death. Hein stabbed no one and stole nothing – he is serving life in prison with no chance of parole. He began his sentence when he was eighteen. He is now about to turn thirty-two.

June Benson, a woman in New York, was sentenced to twenty-seven to fifty-five years for pawning some stolen jewelry. She didn’t take a plea deal, so she received the same sentence as the rapist/thief who gave her the jewelry to pawn.

Despite being home asleep at the time of the crime, Ryan Holle, a boy in Florida, is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole. He lent his car to his roommate, who with others went out and committed a burglary and a murder. The prosecutor said “No car, no murder.”

Mind boggling.

So what should the sentence be for accused swindler Bernie Madoff who destroyed thousands of people’s lives, even driving some to commit suicide?

What should the sentence be for Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, the two judges in Pennsylvania who recently pled guilty to taking $2.6 million in kickbacks in exchange for repeatedly sending teens to two privately-owned juvenile facilities?

Since 2003, it’s estimated that five thousand teenagers have been sent to these juvenile facilities by one of the judges alone. Now they suspect a highly significant percentage of these convicted teens absolutely should not have been locked up at all.

If the court agrees to the plea agreement, these two judges won’t serve life with no chance of parole or even twenty-seven to fifty-five years. Try seven years.

This is justice?

I posted it in its entirety due to its short length. Click on the title to read the original on the NY Daily News website.

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