Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Bernie Ebbers, sentenced to 25 years, has been granted the right to remain free pending his appeal. See here and here. This is in large part because he has significant issues for the appellate tribunal to consider.
This is clearly a difference between white collar and street offenses. The chances that a person given a 25 year sentence for a street crime would be allowed to remain free pending appeal are slim.
But this difference is also warranted. There is little chance that the white collar offender will harm someone, especially since they usually are no longer in a position of power to do any harm. Unlike the street crime, incapacitation is not needed here. But one also has to wonder if the sentence should not account for the fact that incapacitation does not serve a legitimate purpose here.