Monday, August 6, 2007
John Rigas, former Adelphia chair, has decided to talk. But unlike James Brown, former Adelphia's vice president of finance, Rigas' discussion is post-trial and offers no benefit to the soon-to-be incarcerated defendant. Reporting on the conversation is Lesly Cauley of USA Today, who presents the words of this 82 year old man who is facing 15 years incarceration.
With such incredible consequences faced by defendants if they risk going to trial, it is not surprising to see that a key witness chooses to provide witness testimony to the government as opposed to being prosecuted as a target. And with a civil action to compare the testimony of this witness to that provided in the criminal case, issues of truth can be examined.
But irrespective of what Rigas says or does, one still has to wonder whether such a crime deserves such a harsh penalty. Should first offenders be sentenced to 15 and 20 years in prison? Should a former CEO be given a sentence of life minus 3 months (he is entitled to be released when an MD certifies that he has less than 3 months to live). Will all of this really deter others, especially when Rigas continues to maintain that his actions do not constitute crimes? And do they constitute crimes, or was this an example of blaming the driver of a wrecked vehicle, irrespective of whether he or she caused the accident.