Prosecutors Weigh In on Madoff's Request for Mercy

He must stay in prison even if he's dying, they tell judge
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2020 10:15 AM CST
Prosecutors: Don't Free Madoff, Even If He's Dying
In this 2009 file photo, Bernie Madoff exits federal court in New York City.   (AP Photo/David Karp, File)

(Newser) – Bernie Madoff says he's dying and should be released from prison on compassionate grounds. A professor who advocates for criminal justice reform agrees. Prosecutors do not. "The nature of Madoff's crime—unprecedented in scope and magnitude—wholly justified the 150-year sentence this Court imposed and is by itself a sufficient reason to deny Madoff's motion," they wrote in a federal court filing in Manhattan, reports CNBC. Plus, they say the 81-year-old Madoff hasn't shown any remorse, per the New York Post. And while prosecutors don't dispute his health concerns, they don't sound sympathetic. His crime deserves the fullest punishment possible, they say.

"Even though time has passed and Madoff may now be near the end of his life, that message is equally important," prosecutors wrote. "He should not be released." Madoff, who has served more than a decade, says he has less than two years to live because of kidney disease. Prosecutors noted that 520 Madoff victims wrote letters on the matter, and only 20 supported his release. "Why should he be shown any compassion, when he had none for his many victims?" asked one jilted investor, 84. No word on when the final ruling will come. (Madoff also has made an appeal to President Trump.)

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