Monday, September 19, 2005
The court has pronounced its sentence on Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, with each receiving a sentence of 8 1/3 to 25 years. Kozlowski received a fine of $70 million and Swartz a fine of $35 million. Additionally both were ordered to pay restitution. See here (NYTimes). Not surprisingly, the prosecution asked for the court to impose the maximum sentence of 15-30 years, while the defense asked for leniency.
Unlike those sentenced in the federal system (e.g. Rigas, Ebbers, and Olis), both Kozlowski and Swartz have the opportunity to present their case and circumstances for parole after they have served 8 1/3 years. But some will argue that the prisons awaiting Kozlowski and Swartz will be harsher than those facing the federal offenders (although it should be noted that Jamie Olis does not exactly have luxury quarters).
Is this sentence necessary? No. The minimum would have been 1-3 years and perhaps the sentence should have been closer to that time frame. Closer not because the crime was not wrong and should be punished, but closer because these individuals are first offenders who are unlikely to commit a crime again in the future. Their positions of power have been stripped from them and they are unlikely to have the ability or power to ever be a menace to society again.
Are the fines and restitution appropriate? Yes. Make them pay back every dime that was taken and more.