The first chapter of this book titled “Matthew, Angelica, Lisa, and Charlie” immediately grabbed my attention. All four of these children were convicted of such minor crimes as if they were terrible people, without clean records. Matthew had been sent to the juvenile detention center because he was convicted of throwing steak, even after Judge Ciavarella listened to him plead that he wasn’t guilty. Angelicas story is how she was convicted of defacing eighty-six stop signs after only being guilty five of those signs and the judge had said himself they she would be convicted of this even though it hadn’t been proven. Lisa had pulled a prank leaving a letter in school that said she likes to shoot young men with the name of a gun that didn’t even exist. After being in trouble and suspended from school, somehow that wasn’t enough punishment for her. Officers came knocking at her door and she was also forced to be convicted by Judge Ciavarella. The story of Charlie is also so unfair and unjustice. He received a “beach cruiser” from his parents that was for sale. Several weeks later police came to their home to arrest both parents and Charlie for the bike which they thought they had legitimately purchased had been stolen. In the same night the charges were dropped on both the parents and Charlie had been sentenced to see Judge Ciavarella where he was accused. As soon as I read all 4 of these cases I realized that they had been 4 of millions and these kids were punished way too harshly. The detention center where these kids were sent (PA Child Care) was indeed paying off these judges to send children there. The judge didn’t even listen to the children’s side of the story. The fact that this went on for 5 years before trouble was detected is completely baffling. Families were told to not hire lawyers because they wouldn’t even get the chance to speak. Millions of kids suffered long psychological effects due to this million dollar scheme from these judges.
The 2nd chapter ‘Barons and Godfathers’ is about a corrupt government in Pennsylvania in the 1830’s. Here in Pennsylvania they discovered anthracite which was a “miracle fuel” to them. Bankers and financers quickly wanted to buy land here to obtain the fuel and make great selfish profits off of it. As if the money that they would be making off of the fuel wasn’t enough they extracted immigrants to do this labor for even cheaper, making their profits even greater. These immigrants had to live in company owned housing and they had to buy things from a company store where the price were extremely high for the sole purpose of the workers having to buy their things there. These coal barons would for an alliance with anyone who had money and they quickly got involved with organized crime. The higher and bigger coal companies would see pieces of their mines to mafia and they would pay off state inspectors. Then in 1959 the Susquehannah broke into these mines leaving 12 dead and the fuel unable to obtain, leading the president of the UMWA and inspectors were charged with taking bribes. It was easy to realize that after this disaster conditions weren’t fair and it was indeed corrupt.
The beginning of chapter 3 is Mark Ciavarella being sworn into his duties being a judge. The chapter also brings up his friend in the whole scheme Judge Michael Conohan. They became close friends living next door from each other. As you read on into the chapter you learn about Marks childhood. He grew up in a very nice neighborhood where everyone seemed to get along, and trust each other. Mark did get himself into some trouble growing up though. He was suspended from school for fighting, and he got