In the week following the 17.5-year federal prison sentence handed down to former Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Conahan, several judicial watchers told the Law Weekly they were far from surprised by the high number, which fell just two-and-a-half years shy of the maximum sentence the disgraced judge faced.

On Sept. 23, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Judge Edwin M. Kosik told a humbled Conahan that his sentence would fall practically dead in the middle of his initial request — 87 months — and the 28-year sentence of his alleged co-conspirator, Mark A. Ciavarella.

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