At worst, Hillary Transue thought she might get a stern lecture when she appeared before a judge for building a spoof MySpace page mocking the assistant principal at her high school in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She was a stellar student who had never been in trouble, and the page stated clearly at the bottom that it was just a joke.Here's another question: If the facts of Hillary's case are as simple as the article describes them, why on Earth did the prosecutor place the teenager in the criminal justice system? This looks like overzealous prosecution (or overzealous reporting).
Instead, the judge sentenced her to three months at a juvenile detention center on a charge of harassment. She was handcuffed and taken away as her stunned parents stood by.
“I felt like I had been thrown into some surreal sort of nightmare,” said Hillary, 17, who was sentenced in 2007. “All I wanted to know was how this could be fair and why the judge would do such a thing.”
Friday, February 13, 2009
Disturbing News from Pennsylvania: Two Judges Make Millions Sending Kids to Prison
An article in today's New York Times describes a disturbing scheme in which two judges received kickbacks for sending kids to privately run juvenile detention centers. The judges pleaded guilty to charges of income tax fraud and wire fraud. They received $2.6 million in kickbacks for sending children with very minor charges to detention. Here's a slice of the article: