Who Are Some Corrupt Judges From U.S. History?


Quick Answer

Some of the most famous corrupt judges in U.S. history are Thomas J. Maloney, Donald Thompson and Mark Ciavarella, Other notable corrupt judges are James Henson, Victor Barron, Gerald Garson and William Turnoff.

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Full Answer

Thomas J. Maloney was a judge in Cook County, Illinois in the 1980s and early 1990s. He was convicted in 1993 after a judicial corruption probe found that he had received $100,000 in exchange for acquitting three gang members of murder. The probe also accused Maloney of receiving $10,000 for fixing a double-murder trial of gang leaders; he reportedly returned the money and sentenced the gang leaders to death upon suspicion that the FBI was aware of Maloney's corruption. Maloney served 12 years in prison for his crime.

Mark Ciavarella made national news in 2015 when he was convicted of receiving $1 million in bribes from juvenile detention centers in exchange for sending them children, regardless of their actual guilt. Ciavarella convicted about 4,000 juveniles in Pennsylvania court between 2003 and 2008. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Donald Thompson was an Oklahoma judge for over 20 years who was convicted of indecent exposure during trials. Most notably, in 2003, Thompson used a penis pump to masturbate while hearing the case of a man accused of shaking a toddler to death. Thompson was sentenced to four years for his mockery of the position.

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