Sunday, November 4, 2007
Fifteen years and an order to report to prison in 45 days, was the court's ruling for the former president of the Independence Seaport Museum, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer (see here). This sentence exceeds many sentences given in corruption cases (although Congress will probably argue that this is a basis to try and increase sentences in corruption cases). This is yet another example of the sentencing guidelines providing for an extremely high sentence because of a loss figure, with little regard to the fact that the individual had letters from "more than 80 people" "praising his ethics and character." (See Phil Inquirer).
Will society feel safer having a first offender of an economic crime imprisoned for 15 years as opposed to perhaps 5 years? Wouldn't any federal criminal sentence preclude this type of individual from being in a position again to commit such a crime? Wouldn't a future offender be equally deterred by hearing that someone received a 5 year sentence and is a 15 year sentence really necessary here? After all, the sentence should be deterring like minded individuals - the white collar offender.
(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Peter Goldberger)