Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crimes & Punishment

Bernie Madoff (whose name is so appropriate considering that he made off with so many people's money) is appealing to the judge who will sentence him to reduce the prison term from 150 years to 12. Among the reasons given for leniency are Madoff's cooperation in helping investigators understand how he was able to get away with his Ponzi scheme for so long, his voluntary surrender, and the "non-violent nature" of his crime.

Granted that there is no way that the 71-year-old Madoff would live another 150 years, but there's certainly a chance he could live to 83. I suggest the judge show leniency and cut the sentence by 80%. If Madoff lives to be 101, let him out and he can spend his remaining days living in a refrigerator box under the highway.


In other news, Terry Nichols, convicted co-conspirator in the Oklahoma City bombing, is asking for a court-appointed lawyer so that he can file a lawsuit about the food he is receiving in prison. According to the news article at, "Nichols claims in his suit that the federal Supermax prison in Colorado is causing him to 'sin against God' because he doesn't get enough whole grains and fresh food."

One can only imagine what "sin against God" Nichols has been committing, but it is interesting to note that more whole grains and fresh foods will prevent him from doing it. Does this mean that all of his fellow prisoners, who are presumably eating the same food, are also sinning?

Imagine, a prison full of sinners! What is this world coming to?


  1. I think we should bring back public displays of tar and feathering for cases like Madoff.
    Now that's good tv.

    And Nichols reminds me more and more of Charlie Manson. Maybe not as crazy, but they definitely waited in the same line for crazy, if there were a waiting line that dealt in crazy.

  2. Bob,

    First off, this is my first post here. Didn't even know you had a blog until I saw mention of it in Chuck Dixon's forums. One of the happiest days of my adolescent life in the late 70's was getting my question published by the Answer Man himself. Glad you're on the web.

    OK, as for Madoff... doubtless, he's a dirtbag, and deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail, but I think the amount of sentence was pandering to the public. The Enron chief got 24 years. 25 or so would have been about right for Madoff, but I think that this is all academic as the guy probably wont live that long simply because's he's old as it is. The guys is 71. Will he live to 95 or 96? Probably not. I always thought things like 100+ year sentences were ridculous. If you're putting a vampire in jail, OK, otherwise, you're just pandering to the public. If his crime was that bad, I'd much rather we just hang the guy.

    As for the Nichols thing, citing religious conflicts is an old way of getting your diet improved in prison. IIRC, Ted Bundy even changed to Hinduism to avoid the mystery meat that prisoners are served. The courts made the prison give him a vegetarian diet after his conversion.