Madoff Gets 150 Years

And the d-bags over at the Corner are debating whether or not that’s too long.  Eli Lehrer, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, kicked things off with this:

Bernard Madoff is an evil con man. He should spend the [sic] nearly all the rest of his miserable life in prison. But the 150-year sentence he received is too long. In fact, the something close to 12-year sentence his defense attorney recommended is pretty reasonable

Why is that so?  Well, according to Lehrer, because 1) Madoff’s no longer a threat to society, 2) “the certainty of any sentence for fraud provides sufficient deterrence” for other potential fraudsters, and 3) “a 12-year sentence is a pretty severe punishment.  His life expectancy is 13 years and the rigors of prison life — particularly for a man used to living at the height of luxury — hardly seem likely to extend that.”

Eli, a few questions: 1) How do you know?  2) How do you know?  3) Why not err on the side of caution with this guy, considering that he stole, like, billions of dollars?  We put three-time crack-cocaine smokers in prison for life.  Why don’t you leap to their defense?  (Hint:  Because they’re probably Not-White and Not-Fabulously-Wealthy).

He concludes by noting that Madoff has strong ties to his community and no previous criminal record.  Unlike three-time crack-cocaine offenders.  Then he says:

There’s no single correct number for Madoff’s sentence length, but the 150-year sentence he received is very likely too long.

Too long for him to serve all the way through?  What difference does the precise length make if you admit that you don’t care that he’s going to die in prison anyway?  Is the number really that much of an affront to the senior fellows at the Competitive Enterprise Institute?  Lehrer says that the sentence serves “no purpose.”  But I can think of one:  making damn sure the son of a bitch will die in prison.

Anyway, it just goes to show you.  The National Review:  principled advocates of criminal justice reform for white collar criminals.

Somebody’s got to do it.

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