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(Apr 10, 2009) On March 26, 2009, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ordered expungements of juvenile cases handled by Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. Ciavarella and another judge pled guilty to corruption charges alleging that between 2000 and 2007 they received millions of dollars in kickbacks from a company that owned a detention facility, in exchange for sending juveniles, who were often unrepresented by counsel and otherwise deprived of constitutional rights, to the facility.

The Supreme Court's special master assigned to investigate the matter recommended expungement of juvenile records for those with cases that, if tried properly, would have resulted in consent decrees or minor punishments. The Supreme Court agreed. Reports estimate that over 1,000 cases could be affected. (In re J.V.R., No. 81 MM 2008 (Pa. Mar. 26, 2009), available at; In re J.V.R., No. 81 MM 2008, First Interim Report and Recommendations of the Special Master (Mar. 12, 2009), available at

Author: John Cannan More by this author
Topic: Government ethics and transparency More on this topic
Jurisdiction: United States More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 04/10/2009