The judges who were sending kids to jail in exchange for cash from a private prison company have been ordered to pay over $200 Million to their victims. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The judges who were sending kids to jail in exchange for cash from a private prison have been ordered to pay more than $200 million to their victims. Wow. Okay. So we, this story, this story began when you had two judges that made a deal. They made a deal with contractors that were part of building this new private prison. They made a deal with the people who were running the private prison. And the deal was, you give us $3 million, $2.8 million, you give us $2.8 million and we’re going to send you as many people as we can over the years to go into your private prison. Pick it up from there.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. And, and it was sometimes children as young as eight years old. And we’re talking about, we’re not talking about kids that are out there robbing banks or killing people. We’re talking about truancy, we’re talking about, oh, we caught you smoking a cigarette at school. You’re going to prison because it’s putting money in my pocket. And many times in the courtroom, what they would do when they handed down these harsh sentences for these minor offenses, they would immediately take the child and wouldn’t even allow them to say goodbye to their family.

Mike Papantonio:             Put ’em in shackles, put ’em in shackles

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And drag them outta the courtroom. That’s the last the parents saw of them until they got outta jail.

Mike Papantonio:             4,000 juvenile convictions. Convictions ranging from petty theft, truancy, smoking at school and being belligerent. These two judges, criminals, criminals themselves. How the hell they ever became judges is beyond me. But they’re criminals. One is in prison for how long? How, how what’s 20, 20 some years. The other guy is.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, 28 years and 17 years.

Mike Papantonio:             17. And the, the one for 17 years is house arrest. He’s not even in prison. He has one of those shock jobs around his ankle.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             He can’t leave, but he’s, he’s being held prisoner at home because of COVID. That’s the way this story, this story reports. The other, the other criminal is in prison where, in Kentucky?

Farron Cousins:                  In Kentucky, yeah and he is, he’s 72 serving a 28 year sentence. So he’ll die in jail.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Let’s hope

Farron Cousins:                  He’s, he’s not coming out there, thank goodness.

Mike Papantonio:             Sooner than later, sooner than later. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. I, I don’t imagine he’s getting the best healthcare in there. And again, we, we, this is what these people deserve.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  They ruined the lives of these children, psychologically scarred them forever, for the small price of $2.8 million.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  That is, that is not a lot of money to sell out 4,000 children.

Mike Papantonio:             Sol Weiss, a good friend of mine, the lawyer that handled the civil case in this situation got the $200 million. When he started this, you know, if you listen to what he had to say, he knew there, this will never be collected. These kids are never gonna collect that money. But he understood that this is such an ugly story, if we don’t tell it again and again, and again, we’re faced with a story right down the road here in North Florida, that we’re talking about the, the, the boys ranch that did the same thing. So this is repeating itself all over the country. This is not an isolated story.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.