WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PROPORTIONALITY

Accused and soon to be convicted swindler Bernie Madoff will probably plead guilty in Federal Court in the Southern District of New York tomorrow.  The title of the post links to the NY Times article. 

He is 70 years old and will receive what will in effect be a life in prison sentence. 

Query: 

A thirty year old man  steals 10 million dollars and get's a ten  year sentence. He's out when he's 38 or so. 

A seventy year old man steals 10 million dollars and gets a ten year sentence. Statistically speaking he is likely to die in prison. 

Should age be a factor in sentencing vis a vis the impact the length of the sentence is likely to have on the person's life span?  Should the likelihood that an older person is more likely to not live out their prison sentence be a factor in reducing their sentence?

We're not talking about Madoff here. His crimes dwarf what we're talking about. He changed the face of the financial landscape of this country by bankrupting charities that have little ability to recoup their endowments and he stole the life savings of hundreds if not thousands of older individuals, many of whom have no idea and little ability to support themselves in their 70's, 80's or beyond. 

Madoff will get what amounts to a life in prison sentence because the number of his victims and the sophistication and scope of his fraud dwarfs any known previous scheme. 

So putting aside the emotions associated with Madoff, should age, and specifically the advanced age of an individual be a reason for a departure below the guidelines?


MARKUS STRIKES BACK.

Our favourite federal blogger continues to do his job and make life miserable for federal prosecutors who secretly taped him without permission from the Department of Justice. 


Recently we learned that in one of our federal cases we were taped by the government:

Rumpole: "You know you still owe me money."

Client: "Yeah. Nothing I can do about it. What's our defense at trial?"

Rumpole: "I'm not sure."

Client: "Looks like we're going to lose."

Rumpole: "Yeah. Nothing I can do about it."


See you in court, not talking on the phone. 



25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone: "Madoff should get a lesser sentence because he is old."

Me: "Everyone in this room is now dumber for having heard such a statement."

Anonymous said...

the ultimate male does not talk on the telephone with government witnesses.

Anonymous said...

In a perfect (or even near-perfect) system, all are equal before the law. While the invidiual circumstances of each defendant's case, and the aggravating and mitigating factors contained therein, must be given due consideration, no defendant should be punished more harshly nor more leniently simply because of his/her place in society, for lack of a better term. Therefore, age alone should not be considered a mitigating factor.

Of course, our criminal justice system is far from perfect, so I am sure that my comments will be rightfully open to criticism. The argument that youth--and the immaturity and amenability to rehabilitation that supposedly accompany the same--consititues a mitigating factor definitely has much merit.

To quote Theodore Roosevelt "No man is above the law, and no man below it. Nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it."

CAPTAIN said...

On the issue of doctors prescribing narcotics (DOM's case):

The South Florida Sun Sentinel (3/11, LaMendola) reports, "Widespread abuse of prescription drugs and a mushrooming number of South Florida pain clinics selling them have prompted Broward County prosecutors to ask a grand jury to investigate." Officials stated that "the grand jury would convene soon to hear from law enforcement, the medical community, regulators and others, then be asked for recommendations on new laws." They cited data indicating that "since August, the number of unscrupulous pain clinics in South Florida has more than doubled to over 130, with many owned by investors, some of whom have records for drug trafficking."

Cap Out ....

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

BREAKING NEWS .....

Crist names 4th judge to Fla. Supreme Court:

James Perry of Sanford has been named to the Supreme Court by Gov. Charlie Crist. A Circuit Court Judge, Perry has been a member of The Florida bar for 34 years.

Last week, Crist interviewed the candidates: two white men, a white woman and a black man. Well, after Crist' continued complaints about not having enough minorities in the final pool, he finally got what he wanted.

FYI - Perry is a black male. And will join Chief Justice Peggy Quince on the bench, making for two blacks on the Court.

In 2000, he became the first black judge in the 18th Judicial Circuit, which includes Seminole and Brevard County. Then later, he became the first black chief judge.

For more background, visit:

http://www.tampabay.com/
features/humaninterest/
article979853.ece

CAPTAIN OUT ....

CAPTAIN said...

Rumpole:

I have a question?

My friend told me that he had sex last week with his family goat.

Now, Florida, which is one of only 16 states that still permits bestiality, is considering a bill by senator Nan Rich that would result in my friend getting arrested and charged with a thrid degree felony.

My friend does not have much money, meaning he would get the Public Defender. But they won't take any more third degree felonies and that means, because of Judge Stanford Blake, that my friend will have to be represented by the Regional Counsel for the charge of bestiality.

Rump, here is my question?

WHO CARES and why the hell is the Florida legislature waisting their time on this when the state is in debt to the tune of billions of dollars?

Cap Out ...

Anonymous said...

I say we tax people who want to have sex with goats!!!

eyeonq said...

NY Times Business section today has profile of Madoff lawyer Sorkin on front page of business section. On follow up to article on like page 4 or 6 is picture of team of Sorkin's lawyers helping him. They're all identified in the picture. In the back ground, standing silently with arms crossed and a big frown, surveying the scene...none other than the Q!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

have sex with sheep instead. They don't testify against you.

Anonymous said...

Cap seek professional help.

shumie twitters w/princess said...

Saw the great man himself and the princess at a poetry meeting and drinking Chianti.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing how the defense lawyers who start beating the government at trial start having the sort of problems that DOM is now having with the USAO. Hopefully, when we get our new USA things will change but I really doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Time to familiarize ourselves with the newest reason to stop defendants.

Oft-stalled Florida seat belt bill moves ahead
BY BREANNE GILPATRICK
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

A bill that would allow law enforcement officers to ticket drivers simply for not wearing a seat belt passed a crucial roadblock Tuesday when it cleared the Senate Transportation Committee -- where the bill had stalled in years past.

The proposal by Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, and Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, would remove the current requirement that law enforcement officers can't ticket someone over 18 for not wearing a seat belt unless the person first commits another traffic offense.

The bill includes a proposed $30 fine for failing to wear a seat belt, and if passed, would go into effect in September.

Supporters say the legislation would save an estimated 124 lives each year. The bill also would allow the state to receive $35.5 million in federal transportation money.

But opponents say the proposed law would invade personal rights and lead to racial profiling.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/944017.html

Adam Tebrugge said...

If the death penalty is not at issue, why would any lawyer plead his client to a life sentence, particularly when that client is presently out of jail?

Anonymous said...

Anyone else find it more than a little disturbing that Cap has a "friend" who talks to him about sleep with goats?

(not that I'm judging ;-)

BTDT

Anonymous said...

the ultimate never taunts his enemies after he defeats them.

Anonymous said...

i'll bet bernie madoff commits suicide tonight before court tomorrow...

what do you think rumpole?

Anonymous said...

Robaina bucks speaker, stripped of post

Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami, has been stripped of his post as chairman of the Criminal and Civil Justice Policy Council after appearing to undercut a legislative priority of Attorney General Bill McCollum.

House Speaker Larry Cretul named Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, as chair and Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Oveido, as vice chair. The official line is that Cretul did not feel Robaina was a good fit.

But the real story is Cretul felt Robaina crossed him yesterday -- and violated an unwritten rule to heed the leadership playbook -- by amending a bill (HB 215) that McCollum is pushing with the speaker's support. It would limit the fees the AG's office pays to outside lawyers.

Robaina's amendment allowed for some leeway. He said payment caps would limit future AGs and felt some cases warrant higher compensation. He was backed by trial lawyers and others. The amended bill passed 9-1.

"As Speaker, one of my jobs is to provide a leadership organization that best serves the House over the next two years," Cretul said in a statement. "These decisions today are in keeping with that responsibility."

UPDATE: 5:50 p.m. Robaina reacts to the decision. Audio here. "I think a very bad message was sent today. ... I think it's come to the point where it's more important to not embarrass people than to create good public policy. If that's the situation here, then I honestly don't want to sit here, either, as a chairman if I'm going to be micromanaged. ... But understanding the politics of Tallahassee, it's to be expected."

Anonymous said...

I think madoff will plea but then while awaiting sentencing in his 10 million dollar pad...he kills himself

Anonymous said...

Re: German Teen who went on killing rampage: "Police said Thursday that 15 guns had been found at the killer's home and violent video games. The guns belonged to Kretschmer's father, who was a gun club member." Maybe Jack Thompson was on to something (?).

Anonymous said...

Captain: Your friend, Goat Boy (?)(Yourself?), would probably be protected by the doctrine of "Ex Post Facto," provided such behavior ceases and desist. You may wish to tell "your friend" that this could be construed as Baaaaaad behavior. This conduct may upset the PETA people and have him banned from living 2500 feet from the nearest petting zoo.

Shumie Grapevine said...

Saw the big man himself lighting his cigar with the latina and calling it a day.

Anonymous said...

Markus/Seittles...not guilty all counts

Anonymous said...

Better watch it Rump, when the Feds get around to indicting the Princess all your messages may become public knowledge.

Scott Saul said...

What's with the talk about the "Q"?.

There is only one relevant "Q" and that is NRBQ.

Catch Terry Adams from NRBQ performing at Alligator Alley this Saturday.

Listen to music.