Criminal Law; Bernie Madoff Sentence Sends a Signal to Wall Street
The grandmaster of all Ponzi schemes was sentenced to 150 years and the court did not go easy on him; no leniency was given. The judge stated that these were such “evil acts” that no mercy could be given by the court. The newspapers and news media said that; “This sentence sent a message to Wall Street to shaping up.”
Almost as if Bernie Madoff was being made in example of, an example of what? This is the largest Ponzi scheme ever in the history of the world. This is not what Wall Street does for a living, without Wall Street we would never have had the economic powerhouse nation that we have today.
Bernie Madoff’s lawyers recommended only a 12-year sentence because that was his life expectancy, the judge said “no” and gave him 150 years. Many would say this is justice, but no amount of time can give people back the lives that were stolen from them along with all their money, so it’s hard to say if justice was actually served or if this really sends a message to anybody.
Further, this is a very rare case, and one can only doubt if it will change anything on Wall Street. It will not change the compensation or bonuses that have aggravated so many citizens. It will not change the next financial bubble from bursting, or keep us from financial gurus inflating it.
Other than the fact that Bernie Madoff will never be able to get out of prison, and will die there, and leave only upon death in a wooden box, it is hard to say if this sent any signal to the financial world; what will and will not be tolerated. Everyone on Wall Street and in New York already knows that Ponzi schemes are illegal, they have been forever and always will be.
Although this harsh sentence that made headlines, I doubt very much if it proved anything or made any of the victims anymore satisfied. And I do not think the judge deserves much credit for the sentence, or kudos from the media. Please consider all of us.