Tuesday, June 21, 2005

White Collar Crime Blotter: Are these really long sentences?

According to today's news, John Rigas the founder of Adelphia is getting 15 years in prison , which is just three years longer than the average sentence for posession of crack cocaine, and almost twice as long as the average sentence for simple robbery. The newspaper headlines all are discussing the sentences as "long" and much longer than usual in white-collar crimes.
However, lawyers seem to be arguing that the sentences are actually somewhat short - at least they are about ten times shorter than what the federal sentencing guidelines would suggest. Here are some interesting blogs with comments on the sentences that relate them to the important Supreme Court ruling in United States Vs. Booker, which provided judges with more discretion in sentencing. There's the "sentencing law and policy" blog and the "white collar crime prof" blog.
The most interesting of all these commentaries is on the white-collar crime prof blog, and argues that white collar criminals have a good reason to expect more leniency in sentencing from judges.

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