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. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, June 29, 2009

MADOFF GETS 150

As we sit here waiting for a judge who is perpetually late (and you know who you are) the following questions are on our mind:

Doesn't giving a 70 something year old man 150 years speak more of vengeance than the 3553 sentencing factors? Is 150 years the minimum sentence necessary to accomplish all the other goals and concerns under the statute? 

Don't get us wrong- Madoff ruined hundreds of lives if not more. he deserves to be punished, and he probably deserves to die in prison. But on a theoretical basis, if Congress created a class of crimes that do not include life sentences, then shouldn't a sentence take into account the age of the individual?  Isn't a judge giving what amounts to a life sentence for a crime Congress didn't authorize life in prison for what amounts to (heaven forbid) "legislating from the bench?"

Or are we not thinking clearly because we haven't had a drink yet? 

Where is this blasted judge anyway? 

If it rains on me one more time on the way to court I might just.....I dunno. But I might do something. 

If you see a naked man running into court screaming "I can't take this hot, wet, sticky, weather anymore!!!!" Well, then you know you've found Rumpole. 

See you in court. Dressed for now.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you reconcile that Madoff gets 150 years for taking people's money but that Donte Stallworth only gets 30 days for being drunk and killing someone? It's hard for me to wrap my head around that type of disproportion.

Anonymous said...

I guess the reduction of sentence for entering a guilty plea instead of going to trial (and thereby saving the government millions of dollars and putting the victims through the ringer) was substantially outweighed by Madoff's lack of full cooperation in recovering all of the money he stole and hid and/or identifying and prosecuting co-conspirators (i.e. his sons and employees). At 71 years old, 150 = 100 = 50 = 30.

Anonymous said...

Rump. You are saying the following: a 20 year old commits a crime for which there is not a life sentence but the maximum amount of time he can get is 100+ years. The judge gives him 100+ years, an effective life sentence. Is this illegal? Maybe. But what is the remedy? Remand to the lower court to fix the sentence one year less than the life of the oldest person known to have lived? Look at the issue another way. Given the choice, commit your really serious crimes at an older age. Imagine two defendants, one 25 and the other 85 who commit the same crime. Each receives a sentence of 100 years. Is this fair? Yes beause the logical extension of this argument is that every person should have his sentence reduced to the average life expectancy of a 90 year old. But from the perspective of the 25 year old, it can be downright maddening: "Hey kid, it's not your lucky day. I will spend ten years in prison thinking back fondly of all the booze, broads, and good food I consumed over my life which is exactly what I would do if I were not in prison anyway. You on the other hand will spend every waking hour scrubbing toilets and wondering what might have been." Ouch!

Anonymous said...

You're running naked through a courthouse while MarKus is getting a haircut - these things I could live withour knowing.

You need that drink.

It wasn't hundreds, it was thousands upon thousands of lives. And the trickle down to those who were really hurt - the charitable foundations, the children's camps and day care centers that were getting grants and money from donors who had their money invested with Bernie.

Would you have preferred that the judge give him 20 years? It sounds a lot less, but it would still have been a life sentence.

Get that drink - and get it quickly.

Rumpole said...

Thankfully I don't consider these issues often as I don't lose very often. But at various times, over a bottle of wine, I have pondered the issue of proportionality vis a vis age. if you give a 20 year old man a 10 year sentence, he has the rest of his life to get back on track.

If you give a 75 year old the same sentence, he probably dies in prison.

Query: should age be a factor in sentencing?

I am merely pondering the issues, not suggesting the answer.

Rumpole said...

I think Madoff deserves every day he got. I find it useful to use the most extreme cases to flesh out the issues we deal with on a day to day basis. I've been waiting for the right sentence to bring this issue up. Waiting for this &&%$#@^* Judge, and hearing the Madoff sentence, I decided to chime in.

No worries mate.

Anonymous said...

Rump
Dont do the crime if you cant pay the time.
D. Sisselman

Anonymous said...

geez sisselman now you are quoting a dopey robert blake tv show.

one day hollywood will remake that piece of shit into a movie.

Anonymous said...

Perpetually late - Judge Zabel?

Anonymous said...

Madoff is a greedy scumbag. He got a stiff sentence, but his crime was motivated by nothing more than pure greed and evil on his behalf. Thousands of people who planned on having a comfortable retirement are having to rejoin the workforce and/or live a very, very frugal lifestyle thanks to Bernie. He deserved every day of his sentence.

Anonymous said...

How long before every hack in the building and bitter prosecutor stops comparing Stallworth to every other case? Isn't that what defendants do? "In my friends case, he got......"

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

'...if you give a 20 year old man a 10 year sentence, he has the rest of his life to get back on track.' yeah, right. he also has the rest of his life to reoffend. the stats show he's more likely to reoffend than to get back on track.

Rumpole said...

10:23- like I'm going to write about my experience with a Judge within 1000 miles of this place.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 11:32 pm

For the record, i'm a defense attorney, not bitter and certainly not a prosecutor!

The point is that Donte Stallworth took a life and Madoff took money. Apparently everyday people who get killed are only worth 30 days in jail wihle money from the wealthy leads to long prison sentences!

Anonymous said...

The Stallworth comparisons are getting ridiculous. Obviously, that was an unusual case. Acting like the sentence is the yardstick for how manslaughters are handled or the value of a human like is asinine and disengenuous. Those of you asking the question know better. Every case is judged on its merits and in context. Move on.

Anonymous said...

as to Madoff screw him!

Anonymous said...

people who run out in the middle of traffic sometimes get hit and die. drunk or not, the driver is rarely at fault. pedestrians: stay out of traffic...