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March 27, 2009

Philadelphia Bar Association Supports Supreme Court Decision in Luzerne County Case

The Philadelphia Bar Association applauds the action taken by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court yesterday in its unanimous order giving a judge the discretion to overturn the cases of as many as 1,200 juveniles sentenced by a corrupt Luzerne County judge.
“This is definitely a step in the right direction,” says Sayde Ladov, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. “The action taken by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court not only begins to restore justice to the youth and families personally affected by this tragedy, but it also helps to restores the public’s faith and confidence in our justice system.”

Two Luzerne County judges recently pled guilty to charges that they had accepted secret payments from owners of two juvenile detention centers, where they routinely sentenced juveniles who appeared without counsel.

“This issue speaks loudly about the power of the bench,” Ladov adds. ”Choosing judges is serious business, with outcomes that literally affect our daily lives. That’s why, during election years, the Philadelphia Bar Association performs an extensive evaluation of judicial candidates, and we issue our findings of ‘recommended’ or ‘not recommended’ to the public.”

The Philadelphia Bar Association is set to release its recommendation shortly for this year’s primary election, set for May 19.

Ladov says, “We applaud the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, for their action demonstrates its dedication to ensuring the integrity, honesty and fairness of the bench. While the behavior of these corrupt Luzerne County judges was and remains absolutely outrageous, this is an important step in reassuring the public that our system of justice is working on behalf of its citizens.”
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