Pick A Number: What does Madoff get?

Thanks to the promptings of my friend Randy, I've been thinking about the Madoff sentencing...

Here's the problem as I see it. The magnitude of his crimes are virtually unprecedented, and his lifespan is quite short, so in truth I think that almost all of these discussions are academic. The question then becomes, if a 13 year sentence is functionally the same as a 150 year sentence, it seems you can basically buy some deterrent value with very little personal cost. Now that said, I think the judge will be sensitive to seeming absurd or seeming to overtly pander, so my guess is he'll impose a sentence consistent with Madoff being a young guy. Say something around 600 months (or 50 years) Maybe a touch more. If there were a betting pool, I'd put my money on 56 years.

The usual things obtain when you're talking about sentencing: Is this really a life we want to waste in prison? The problem is, in his case, with the number of victims and the length of the fraud, there is a very good argument that he's done nothing but carry on a massive criminal enterprise for the bulk of his life. So other than the acceptance of responsibility, I'm not sure I see a lot of argument for anything that would genuinely count as leniency.

So what do you think the Judge sentences Madoff to?

Leave your predictions in the comments...

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