Bernie Madoff's attorney Lee Sorkin is in the unfortunate decision of decision of having to defend a client who is one of the most reviled criminals in America right now. Interviewed by Matt Lauer on the "Today Show" this morning, Sorkin criticized the sentence of 150 years handed down by the judge:
My reaction is the justice system is not based on vengeance and it's not built on symbolism... 150 years is absurd under the guidelines under the sentencing statutes.
Lauer pointed out that making an example of Madoff was not the only the condition the judge considered when handing out the sentence. The judge made clear that he believed Madoff did not confess to right a wrong, but did so because he was about to get caught. He also said that Madoff had not been cooperative and that he had not received a single 'letter of good character' offering support for Madoff. Instead, there had been a flood of letters condemning the Ponzi-schemer.
Sorkin declined to address the cooperation issue, saying those issues were still ongoing in investigations. He tried to combat the idea that Madoff only confessed because he was about to caught, but his argument that Madoff's Ponzi scheme was falling apart years before the financial crisis exposed it and that Madoff could have just fled the country fell flat. Especially because Madoff's victims spanned the globe.
Watch the interview below.