PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania judge who was involved in a “Kids for Cash” scheme unsuccessfully appealed his racketeering conviction this week, and is himself facing what legal experts are calling an “unusual punishment.” Former Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. will have to forfeit the $2.8 million in bribes he and his colleague received from a private prison contractor in exchange for sentencing black children to jail time, and will become what is thought to be the world’s first living, human piñata.
“I have to tell you, I don’t think there’s a precedent for this kind of sentence,” said legal scholar Tom Holmes. As per the judge’s orders, Ciavarella’s stomach and intestines will be packed full of candy, as well as iPads and One Direction memorabilia, and he’ll be tied, dangling, from a tree. The children he unjustly sentenced will then be given the opportunity to “beat him with bats until, one way or another, the goodies spring forth.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that one’s never been done before,” Holmes said.
Ciavarella was convicted in 2011 of receiving bribes from two Luzerne County for-profit juvenile prisons in exchange for sentence children to months or years of jail time for minor offenses, such as creating a Myspace page to mock an assistant principal or being involved in a playground scuffle. The 4,000 convictions Ciavarella have all been overturned.
Despite these crimes, many were surprised by the punishment Ciavarella himself was given. When pressed to explain the unusual sentence he passed on Ciavarelli, Judge Edwin M. Kosik said the legal precedent for his decision was, “Screw this guy.”
“I just hope he stays conscious through the first few whacks, and has to suffer until the end,” Judge Kosik said. “Some of those kids played Little League All-Stars.”
After the sentence was announced, many observers expected the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to cry foul, but the organization–which normally works aggressively to end capital punishment, which it believes is cruel and unusual–announced this week that it’s “cool with the sentence.” “We’re going to sit back and let this one run its course,” said ACLU president Susan N. Herman. “This guy’s a real piece of dog shit, and we can’t think of a better fate for him than being pumped full of sugar and electronics and being beaten until he explodes.”
“Plus, it should be really fun for the children,” Herman added.