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Mother in 'kids for cash' scandal says she got justice

By the CNN Wire Staff
Sandy Fonzo says her 17-year-old son, Edward Kenzakowski, killed himself after serving months in detention.
Sandy Fonzo says her 17-year-old son, Edward Kenzakowski, killed himself after serving months in detention.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former juvenile judge Mark Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years in prison
  • Sandy Fonzo says her son killed himself after receiving an unjust sentence from Ciavarella
  • "He was never the same," she says about her son after his detention

(CNN) -- The mother who made national headlines when she confronted a former Pennsylvania judge, sentenced for a scheme to make millions off unjustly incarcerating young people, said Sunday she feels that she got justice.

"It's justice in the sense that he is going to pay for what we've been dealing with for the last eight years," Sandy Fonzo told CNN's Don Lemon.

"True justice I don't think there could ever be. He'll never live the sentence that I'll live with for the rest of my life -- can't bring my son back," she said.

Ciavarella sentenced to 28 years

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years in prison and ordered to pay about $1 million in restitution last week for his part in the so-called kids for cash scandal.

Ciavarella was found guilty in February of 12 of 39 racketeering and fraud charges for accepting millions of dollars in bribes from friends who owned detention centers to which he sent juveniles.

The case made national headlines when Ciavarella was confronted by Fonzo outside a courtroom after his conviction.

Mom who confronted judge speaks out
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Fonzo's 17-year-old son, Edward Kenzakowski, spent months in detention after Ciavarella sentenced him for possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to Fonzo, her son, who had no prior record, was never able to recover and eventually took his own life.

"He was never the same," she told Lemon. "He went in a young boy, a young, spirited boy, and came out a pent-up, angry man and it just escalated."

She said in February she came to the courthouse believing Ciavarella would be taken straight to jail. But when she found out he was going home and would not be sentenced until later, she was shocked and angered, and began shouting at Ciavarella.

Fonzo's confrontation was captured by television cameras.

"Do you remember me?" Fonzo screamed lunging toward Ciavarella, "Do you remember my son?" she screamed again. "He's gone," she cried, "He shot himself in the heart, you scumbag!"

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