There is nothing better than seeing politicians squirm, and that's just what Luzerne County DA Jackie Musto Carroll did this past week when faced with numerous questions from a panel investigating Luzerne County's new claim to fame: Judges who sold children for money.
Make no mistake about it:
1. District Attorneys are politicians & politics play a role in how they run their offices
2. The lack of legal representation for children in those courtrooms was painfully obvious
3. Many, many blind eyes were turned via some convoluted "the ends justify the means" logic
One needs to wonder whether or not Attorney Musto Carroll, on some level, thought that the politics of getting tough on juvenile offenders was good for her career. After all, highly political school administrators apparently thought the world of the "get tough" policies that existed in Luzerne County, and being in the prosecution business that was bound to help Attorney Musto Carroll. Politics indeed.
What happened in Luzerne County was evil, and the inaction from so many quarters not only allowed it to continue, it actually encouraged it further. The controls that should have been in place, such as officers of the court who are supposedly charged with seeing to it that justice is served, seem to have given way to an attitude of 'who cares/it's not my business/I'm afraid of the judge". Ignorance of the law (i.e. knowing the everyone must be informed of their right to legal representation in a courtroom) clearly is not the case here, as surely a sitting DA is well schooled in courtroom requirements. All that's left in this case is the notion that either Attorney Musto Carroll approved of the tactics of the judges in question (perhaps for the reasons noted above) OR she didn't care enough do anything about those tactics. Either defense is disgusting and shameful when paired to the facts of this situation.
It seems to me that calling Attorney Musto Carroll passively complicit in what happened in Luzerne County is reasonable....in fact, it's much more reasonable than, say, allowing a 13 year old to go to juvie-jail for some minor offense.
Attorney Musto Carroll should resign from her position.
The citizens of Luzerne County (of which I am not one...) deserve someone in the District Attorney's office who not only knows the law, but who also has the spine to stand up when others in their very presence flagrantly violate it.
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