Monday, June 29, 2009

Extraordinarily Evil

Little Bernie gets 150 years in a Midtown Manhattan courtroom.

In addressing the court before sentencing, Madoff "apologized", turning to address a crowd of victims of his twenty-plus years of thievery and fraud. Many of them had testified earlier this morning before Judge Denny Chin -- with Madoff listening -- about the effect of Madoff's actions, telling stories of life savings' wiped out; of their inability to afford care for older and sick parents or special needs children; small charities now bankrupt, their programs to benefit addicts, youth offenders and the handicapped, ended.

"I will face you," Bernie said (probably on advice of counsel). "I'm sorry. I know that doesn't help you."

Judge Chin then sentenced Madoff to 150 years' imprisonment, the maximum sentence that could be levied, calling Madoff's actions "extraordinarily evil".

After Mr. Madoff’s victims finished speaking, his lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, stood up and said the government’s request for a 150-year sentence bordered on absurd. He called Mr. Madoff a 'deeply flawed individual,' but a human being nonetheless. (New York Times)

It's normal following a conviction, but before sentencing, for a felon's family -- wife, children -- to write letters to the presiding Judge about their convicted husband and father; it's a chance to plead for leniency, and everyone takes it. What I found interesting was that Madoff's wife, sons and daughter did not write a single letter to the judge in his support.

There are three possibilities: One, they're all as callous and venal as Little Bernie; Two, they're involved in Bernie's deals up to their nostrils, and were advised by their attorneys to dummy up; or, Three, that they're all innocent, know the DOJ will come after them anyway, and told not to provide statements which could later be interpreted against them (I'll take Door Number Two, Monty).

Meanwhile -- hey, Ber-nie! You didn't give a damn about who you hurt, or how bad -- so rot in a Supermax, and take whoever else was involved with ya, you gonif.