Monday, June 29, 2009

Bernie Madoff

Now, I've heard a couple people remark that a 150 year sentence, the maximum the judge was allowed to impose, seems excessive for an old man who's going to be dead in a few years anyway. Some of those people have pointed out that a lot of the victims of Madoff's crimes either knew or should have known that something sketchy was going on, and I suppose there's some truth in that.

But to me the most striking aspect of Madoff's guilty plea, and the aspect that makes him deserving of the maximum punishment allowable, is that he's provided exactly zero help to investigators. Sure, he's admitting his guilt, after it wasn't possible to hide it anymore. But he hasn't said word one about who helped him, how much various other figures knew, where the money went, or how he orchestrated it all. A truly contrite man, one deserving of mercy, would have come clean about everything. And a man who's not at all contrite, who only admits what can already be proven and offers nothing more beyond, seems like a man at whom the book ought to be thrown.

So Bernie, we'll see you in 2159 - you can watch the NBA finals at my place.


Mithridates said...

Reminds me off the yahoos protesting the execution of Tookie Williams at the student center at U of C. He "renounced" his gang affiliation and "regretted" his role in founding the Cripps, but he refused to help police in gang investigations. Doesn't sound "truly contrite" to me . . .

Just for the record, this commentator is opposed to the death penalty, but if we're going to have it, it might as well be for uncontrite murdering founders of murderous gangs.

Phutatorius said...

If I ever form a band, it'll be called "Tookie and the Uncontrite Murdering Founders of Murderous Gangs."

Mithridates said...

Lucky for you fantasy baseball was invented explicitly for people who are creative enough to come up with one clever name per year, but not creative enough to actually write music and form a band.

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