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UPDATE: Prosecutors oppose release of Ciavarella

Mark Ciavarella is currently at a federal facility in Ashland, Kentucky.

UPDATE:  Federal prosecutors say they oppose the "compassionate release" of a convicted former Luzerne County Judge.

Mark Ciavarella cited his age, 70, a litany of health issues, and fears of COVID-19 as reasons why he should be released.

Ciavarella was convicted of taking kickbacks in exchange for sentencing minors to a for-profit detention center in Luzerne County.

Original story:

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella has filed an emergency motion for "compassionate release" from federal prison.

Ciavarella is currently at a federal facility in Ashland, Kentucky. On Aug. 11, 2011, Ciavarella was sentenced to a prison term of 28 years. 

Ciavarella filed the motion in November, citing his age along with a variety of medical issues.

At 70-years-old, Ciavarella has high blood pressure, heart problems, kidney disease, and a past history of pneumonia and bronchitis. 

He cites these as reasons for why he should be granted compassionate release, along with an outbreak of COVID-19 that has affected nearly 150 inmates at the federal prison in Ashland, Kentucky.

The federal judge handling the case issued the following order on Dec. 21: the government shall file an expedited response to the defendant's motion no later than Monday, Dec. 28, and the defendant may file a reply no later than Monday, Jan. 4. 

In August, Ciavarella filed an appeal to a judge's ruling in which he was denied resentencing. 

Ciavarella's current projected release date is June 18, 2035.