Your gut tells you that it’s an outrage (!) that Madoff gets to spend more time at his $7 million penthouse. You think he should be in a 8’x8′ cell, but that if anything that’s too kind. Maybe you’re right, but here are some reasons to be glad about the way this has played out so far
The justice system is still functioning smoothly. If you read the judge’s decision, you’ll see it was based soundly on prior case law and a reasonable interpretation of bail rules. This is good. We want to know that even when the system is stressed by a crime of this proportion, our legal officials cooly analyse the law.
Madoff is still alive. Despite the pain he’s caused to so many, we haven’t seen any barbarism. Nobody’s called on Madoff to get the death penalty and nobody has tried to kill him. We remain civil.
The judge and the prosecutors are in disagreement. A hallmark of the US political system is that our government is not a monolith. We have checks and balances, and sometimes one entity openly rebukes another. In this case, the judge rebuked prosecutors. When the judge is in cahoots with prosecutors, a defendant can be made totally powerless. Granted, Madoff has an expensive, top-shelf lawyer to help him out, but we’re still glad to see checks and balances in play.
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