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Bernie Madoff Deserves Special Treatment

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 23, 2009 4:13 PM |

Bernie Madoff

I may stand outside of the mainstream, but I believe Bernie Madoff deserves special treatment when his sentence is handed down on June 29th.

No surprise that Bernie stays true to his cowardice form in begging for mercy from the court, as the Wall Street Journal offers Madoff Seeks Leniency in Sentence:

Bernard Madoff asked a federal judge on Tuesday to sentence him to as little as 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to operating a massive, decades-long Ponzi scheme.

Talk about chutzpah. Wow!!! Does Bernie think he was involved in a pedestrian white collar financial scam? His lawyer, Ira Sorkin, also provides comic relief in his request:

In a letter filed late Monday and made public Tuesday, Ira Sorkin, a lawyer for Mr. Madoff, asked U.S. District Judge Denny Chin to sentence his client to less than a life sentence.

“Mr. Madoff is currently 71 years old and has an approximate life expectancy of 13 years,” Mr. Sorkin said. “A prison term of 12 years — just short of an effective life sentence — will sufficiently address the goals of deterrence, protecting the public and promoting respect for the law without being ‘greater than necessary’ to achieve them.”

In the alternative, Mr. Sorkin said a sentence of 15 years to 20 years would effectively achieve those goals. “Indeed, such a range will appropriately eliminate concerns for disparate treatment among similarly situated nonviolent offenders,” Mr. Sorkin said.

Is Mr. Sorkin serious? Let’s review his statement: ” . . . eliminate concerns for disparate treatment among similarly situated nonviolent offenders.”

Who has a concern that Bernie will be treated worse? What crimes and criminals bear any resemblance to the Madoff fraud?

Nonviolent offenders? When will our judicial system properly dispense justice for emotional abuse inflicted upon victims in the course of white collar crimes? Why has our judicial process allowed white collar criminals to define their crimes as nonviolent and thus deserving of lessened penalties?

I strongly believe that white collar crimes and criminals are treated far too gently in our judicial sentencing process.

Thus, if I were to sentence Bernie Madoff, I would first want to know how many investors were in his fund. If there were 1000 investors, I would recommend one life sentence per investor, that is, 1000 concurrent life sentences. Why?

I believe each investor is now in an emotional jail cell and likely will be for the remainder of his/her life. Thus, this sentence is the only fair sentence to address that emotional pain and torture.

I do not consider myself a vindictive individual. In fact, I consider myself honest, charitable, and fair. I would welcome hearing the rationale as to how true justice may otherwise be dispensed. That sentence strikes me as fair for all involved.

I have to believe there is a special place in hell for Bernie Madoff.


  • mountainaires

    A special place in hell indeed. Right alongside people like Ted Bundy, and other sociopaths. He deserves no leniency because he hasn’t cooperated in telling the full story about what he did.

    I just read this article at ProPublica about a Madoff investor who made out on the scam, to the tune of $5 Billion; very interesting guy this Jeffrey Picower:

  • mountainaires
  • Mountainaires,

    Very interesting links. Thanks for sharing. No doubt that there must be more than a handful of feeder fish who were wise to Bernie’s game and also prospered.

    Are the authorities qualified to pursue all the leads? Do they want to go down some of the roads? Do they want to publicize all the info? Are there authorities who were complicit?

    Will we ever know?

  • beach

    Larry, so often when I read your columns I think that “the little guy” does not have a chance. Everything is stacked against us!

    And then I read about what Mrs. Madoff’s life has become and I think I would not change places in a million years. To not be able to spend time with family? To not be able to go to the corner grocery store and buy some cheese? These small pleasures are certainly “priceless”!

  • Beach,

    IMO, our society has allowed the ‘game’ to be defined by those who would sell us everything.

    The fact is if we define the ‘game’ by ‘who we are’ rather not ‘what we have’ then we can play the game by our rules and not theirs. At that point, we are a long way to achieving long term success.

    Don’t mean to get overly philosophical….

    Thanks for that link.

  • When I first heard about this story, I was struck by the irony of this crook’s last name. Pronounced made off. I’ll bet he snickered to himself every day just thinking about it. Yes, the deck is stacked against us little guys, especially when there are greedy, coniving pieces of dog crap like this one running & ruining the world.

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