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Was Bernie Madoff's 150 Year Sentence Too Harsh?

News 2011/06/29 18:15:09
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Judge Denny Chin, the man responsible for sentencing Bernard L. Madoff to 150 years in prison, recently spoke with The New York Times about why he decided to give the notorious Ponzi schemer such an enormous sentence.

Especially since Madoff was 71 at the time.

Judge Chin said he quickly rejected the idea of a 12-year sentence for Mr. Madoff, but pondered whether 20 to 25 years might be acceptable. He ultimately concluded that even that “would have been just way too low.”

“In the end, I just thought he didn’t deserve it,” he said. “The benefits of giving him hope were far outweighed by all of the other considerations.”


Judge Chin went on to explain that anything beyond a life sentence for Madoff would be purely "symbolic," and he wanted to accurately reflect the nearly $18 billion that Madoff admitted to laundering -- hence the maximum of 150 years.

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/nyregion/judge-d...

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Top Opinion

  • MichaelSherry 2011/06/30 06:57:03
    No
    MichaelSherry
    +5
    He was not alone in his crimes.the banks and regulators should also be doing hard time.If they where held accountable for the failings then you can bet there would be a lot less failings and bankers

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  • tranquilparadise 2011/07/06 22:02:46
    No
    tranquilparadise
    if he was let loose to "pay people back", you bet he'd go rip Peter off to "pay" Paul!!! I've been ripped by a Ponzi Schemer and the worst thing is knowing he's still out there scheming others and driving fancy cars. These people HAVE NO CONSCIENCE! If there was reincarnation I'd wish him to be reborn into an immortal bug - to be killed, swatted, and stepped on for the rest of his life over and over. And over.
  • wamcalif 2011/07/01 00:13:35
    Yes
    wamcalif
    120 years would have been more than sufficient.
  • seasba 2011/06/30 21:01:03
    No
    seasba
    He robbed people of Billions of dollars, let him rot in jail for the rest of his life. He is a scumbag.
  • ConLibFraud 2011/06/30 18:17:51
    No
    ConLibFraud
    Yet another trick question by SodaHead!

    Does anyone know anybody who has lived for 150 years?

    If SodaHead would stop playing the game and asking stupid questions, the question would be like this ...

    Why do we have a legal system that allows sentences that are longer than a humans life span? It is not an insult to everyone's intelligence? Or is it because the legal system is so corrupt?
  • MarinerFH 2011/06/30 18:13:03
  • ImSoMad 2011/06/30 18:05:31
    No
    ImSoMad
    This man stole 18 billion dollars and stole peoples lives. I think they should make more examples from other people on wall street! Just because you wear a fancy suite and drive a fancy car and have a fancy title doesn't mean your not a lying cheating thug that steals from people! I'm not saying all stock brokers and investors are liars, but a huge majority of them are. The con you into giving them your hard earned money with hopes of turning it into something huge, or more in return, only to give you a loss while lining their pockets. I honestly think his whole family should have gone down with him! His sons, and other co-workers that knew about what was going on that worked under him for years should have gone down with him. Sadly one of his sons committed suicide, but they should have all been on lock down to stand trial!
  • the_old_coach 2011/06/30 17:56:23
    No
    the_old_coach
    +1
    Hell no. He ruined people's lives forever, so 150 years is "okay to go."

    ruined peoples lives 150 years throw away the key
  • Joyce Brand 2011/06/30 17:51:37
    Yes
    Joyce Brand
    +1
    What's the point of locking him up where he can't ever pay back the people he ripped off? This is the kind of case that illustrates the insanity of a "justice" system that punishes at the expense of the victims instead of punishes by demanding restitution and reparations. All of his assets should have been sold and the proceeds distributed among his victims, with him responsible for earning and repaying the rest he owes them. They would never get all their money back, but none of their taxes would be going toward his incarceration.
  • ImSoMad Joyce B... 2011/06/30 18:09:04
    ImSoMad
    +1
    This man has plenty of opportunities to pay people back over the years that he frauded them. While being on trial if he wanted to pay these people back, I'm sure his lawyer could have worked out some kind of plea bargain if that were ever going to be his intention. I don't think he is interested in paying anyone back. He cares more about keeping the money in his families pockets. ie they are all still living in fancy houses and driving fancy cars and living a pretty cushy lifestyle.
  • Joyce B... ImSoMad 2011/07/01 05:48:55
    Joyce Brand
    +1
    Exactly, if he would rather go to prison that pay back the people he defrauded, then prison is hardly a punishment. Having to pay restitution would be a much more just punishment than prison because he would hate it and his victims would get something back. That's why our government "justice" system would never allow it. The government makes money from his imprisonment, but the victims would get the restitution money, not the government.
  • ImSoMad Joyce B... 2011/07/01 16:16:56
    ImSoMad
    No I agree with you, I wish that would happen that way. But I know that he wouldn't do it. I think he would use the economy is down as a cop out and as soon as he was out, I think he would fly out of here to another country so that he could spend his life with his millions upon millions in a place where the US couldn't touch him.
  • Joyce B... ImSoMad 2011/07/01 17:40:53
    Joyce Brand
    +1
    That is why our current justice system is so bad. It never does anything for the victims and it never really punishes the evil doers -- the ones who actually harm other people.
  • ImSoMad Joyce B... 2011/07/02 18:56:21
    ImSoMad
    So very true! Our systems were supposed to rehabilitate criminals, and they rarely punish the ones that need to be punished, yet someone that does something simple or petty always seems to get the book thrown at them and always seem to brutilized or tourtoured by other inmates. It's sad when murdered, rapists, pedophiles, and other savage repeat offenders tend to rule the roost while they are in prison! It's sad that our broken system let's the ones that were bullied on the outside do the very same harm on the inside and that our prison system doesn't really work.
  • tranqui... Joyce B... 2011/07/06 21:58:33
    tranquilparadise
    +3
    But if he was let loose to "pay people back", you bet he'd go rip Peter off to "pay" Paul!!! I've been ripped by a Ponzi Schemer and the worst thing is knowing he's still out there scheming others and driving fancy cars. These people HAVE NO CONSCIENCE!
  • Teancum79 2011/06/30 17:48:21
    Yes
    Teancum79
    +1
    No compared to the harm he caused.
    Very Yes compared to congress and the president.
  • Heather ~Warrior Princess~ 2011/06/30 17:42:39
    Yes
    Heather ~Warrior Princess~
    +2
    So he gets 150 years and the baby rapists get let back out after 5 or 10? How is that justice?
  • LORROL 2011/06/30 17:39:34
    No
    LORROL
    +1
    To lenient and none of his accomplices spending any time with him is another crime.
  • DeeB 2011/06/30 17:23:22
    Yes
    DeeB
    +1
    I think he should have gotten a couple years and then let out to go back to work, closely watched, and made to pay back all of the people he has ripped off. What sense does 150 years make? But our justice system isn't known for it's sense now is it?
  • aldeshsa 2011/06/30 17:20:17
    Yes
    aldeshsa
    +1
    Has there ever been a point to a jail sentence longer than a persons life? 100, 150, 500, 1000, a million years? Really?
  • Frank 2011/06/30 17:03:22
    No
    Frank
    The man was a parasite.............
  • lawlerskates 2011/06/30 16:49:15
    No
    lawlerskates
    No no, on the contrary. Not harsh enough. I'd prefer some free air injected into his vein instead. So that way he don't cost the people anymore money.
  • dePSyChO 2011/06/30 16:42:14
    No
    dePSyChO
    I don't think it is, but then again, I also have some weird respect for Madoff. He kept his scheme up for *years*. He made tons and tons of money. And through it all, he was ruthless. I respect that. I couldn't be like that, but I give him props for being such a magnificent bastard. Bu barring all that, I do think he deserved it.

    I'd laugh if he got prison raped.
  • JJ 2011/06/30 16:40:06
    No
    JJ
    Not only should he get a 150 year sentence, but so should murders, rapest, child molesters, and anyone that does a horroble injustice to others. Its about time someone looked at these people for what they are...those that feel they're above the law and care nothing for anyone else, only themselves. Now, there are other crimes that I feel should be of a lesser sentence, but not without some form of lesson behind it. Even if that lesson is to pay back every cent one might have stolen from another, etc.
  • Alex Toledo 2011/06/30 16:37:05
    Yes
    Alex Toledo
    He did not kill anyone. I think 5 years would be good.
  • Rod 2011/06/30 16:31:31
    Yes
    Rod
    only because it is ridicules to give that long when it should just be life, if they keep him locked up for 150 years his festering corps will cause stink and disease, then we will have to pay compensation to all those other poor prisoners as they have rights you know.
  • 7th PLANET "Alien Stud Muffin" 2011/06/30 16:21:51
    Yes
    7th PLANET "Alien Stud Muffin"
    Maybe 148 years would be better??? Make him serve ALL 148. . . . dead or alive!!! Of course he might stink up the place! LOL
  • Soup Man 2011/06/30 16:16:09
    No
    Soup Man
    No a long drop from a short rope we be better
  • Gloria 2011/06/30 15:53:50
    No
    Gloria
    +1
    Too bad most bankers & brokers aren't in jail.
  • Alex To... Gloria 2011/06/30 16:38:34
    Alex Toledo
    +4
    Too bad more people don't get an education so they don't get ripped off.
  • Gloria Alex To... 2011/06/30 16:56:33
    Gloria
    Blame it on the victims. Nice touch.
  • Tom 2011/06/30 15:53:12
    No
    Tom
    A twenty year sentence would have been "life" to a 71 year-old man anyway. Why not make an example of him? I think the guy got away with more than he deserved. He ruined the lives of a lot of innocent people.
  • heirsoftheking 2011/06/30 15:46:43
    No
    heirsoftheking
    +1
    Too easy. That's NY for you - always soft on crime. Exercise Sposato's Justice on him, which says, "Guilty until proven innocent," and "One strike and your dead!"
  • dePSyChO heirsof... 2011/06/30 16:44:24
    dePSyChO
    Except, you know, in the Bill of Rights, we have the right of being "Innocent until proven guilty".
  • Mad irishman 2011/06/30 15:46:05
    No
    Mad irishman
    +1
    Now tell me how well our leagal system works. Good Old Bernie get's 150 years, but AIG, GM, Chysler, Ford, BOA, CITI, Wells Fargo, and others like Freddie & Fanny GET BAIL OUTS. WHY??????? So, maybe we should impeach OB, & all members of Congress who voted for the bail out, and Tim Geither, and helicopter Bernakie, for lie's they have told. Then send them TO THE BIG HOUSE for fifty or seventy five years...... How You Like Me Now? lol lol lol...I've given you the idea, now you make it work.....
  • heirsof... Mad iri... 2011/06/30 15:55:16 (edited)
    heirsoftheking
    +1
    Ford DID NOT get a bail-out. Although they were losing money at the time, they refused a bail-out.
  • Saucy 2011/06/30 15:41:19
    Yes
    Saucy
    +1
    Dealing out justice is a hard one. There are far worse crimes.

    The ones that amaze me are those where mentally ill people are released from high security hospitals after being assessed by Doctors. "They are fit to go back into society" they (the Doctors) claim. The ex patients them go out and maim or fatally injure other general members of the public. This happens over here must be once or twice a year, probably more (I don`t keep count). Now, if these "goody" Doctors were responsible for the behaviour of the patients who are "ready and fit to go back to society" would they sign so many out if they had to do the jail sentence whilst they said perpetrator went back to a secure hospital? Surely they must take some of the responsibility?

    Sorry got on my soap box there.
  • bronx 2011/06/30 15:31:36
    No
    bronx
    May he rot in prison!
  • Right Wing Radical 2011/06/30 15:30:46
    No
    Right Wing Radical
    What would be wrong with suspending his sentence and dipping him in boiling oil? Peanut, coconut, or canola shouldn't be too harsh...low in trans fats tto!!
  • Siefimn 2011/06/30 15:26:32
    No
    Siefimn
    +1
    he deserves to rot in prison.
  • davidl 2011/06/30 15:10:39
    No
    davidl
    +2
    He should be forced to work in a fast food chain cleaning toilets for the rest of his life.

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