Oooh, I'm old and feeble, please be lenient, your honor

CNN/Money report

So, John Rigas and his hellspawn fuck over a multi-billion company and drive it into the ground for their own pleasures and the old shit-sucking bastard has the balls to ask for leniency because he’s old and feeble.

Too fucking bad, grandpa. You shoulda thought of that when you were reaming out your company to pay for a fucking golf course in your fucking back yard.

Fuck him. He deserves to take his last breath in a cold concrete cell. The same goes for your piece-of-shit son, Timothy (who got 20 years).

It’s not exactly new, however.

First off, white collar crime isn’t as ‘bad’ as blue collar crime. In NYS an attempt at armed robbery carries an heavy automatic sentence, no matter what level of violence was actually used. Or what the perp was armed with. While white collar crime is capped at either 10 or 20 years max. No matter how many indictments there are on the charges.

A local developer had been indicted on something like one thousand counts of fraud and racketeering charges, involving hundreds of houses with fraudulent construction, mortgages, and values. The extended fraud is estimated to have cost various government groups millions of dollars, as well as screwing over countless families who thought they were getting their first good solid home. But in spite of there being no doubt that the accused are guilty of all they’ve been indicted with, they’re only facing that 10 or 20 year max, because it’s just white collar crime.

Then there’s the way that the courts seem to look at elderly offenders for some crimes, too.

Last year a retired Family Court Judge locally was found to be a consumer of child porn. Convicted, too.
And because of his advanced age, the bozo got probation. :confused:

So this doesn’t surprise me. Disappoints me, but not surprises.

General Augusto Pinochet immediately leaps to mind.

I thought for sure this was going to be about this guy.

Holy Cow! Mr. Six was in the Klan? I knew there was something creepy about that guy.

We just had one of these where I work. I sat second chair for the prosecution in the trial of a 70-year-old man accused of DWI. The jury let him go.

Wonder if they would’ve been so lenient if they knew he had seventeen arrests and seven convictions for DWI?

This is one of the few things that gets my blood boiling. Plus, they get to live in “prisons” that are very different than prisons.

Max, why isn’t this allowed to show a pattern? I was on a jury for a DWI and we found out later it was his 4th. Actually, the Prosecutor make a “slip” (immediately objected to and sustained) and implied it wasn’t his first time. I understand past convictions may/would be prejudicial, but it seems like it’s allowed in other cases (Jacko comes to mind…)

DWI’s are a whole 'nother animal. Talking about priors is a very strict no-no. Even in our case, which was a felony (obviously) enhanced by prior convictions, we could refer to the priors only by reading them in the indictment, and we couldn’t make any reference to them apart from the fact that they existed and were necessary to elevate the misdemeanor offense of DWI to a felony. The defense stipulated to the priors, and if they stipulate, the Code says the prosecution has to pretty well leave it at that. Still, would you believe that one of the officers mentioned the seventeen arrests on the stand (while being questioned by the defense attorney, not us, thank God), and still they found him not guilty?

Of course, if the jury had bothered to look closely, they would have noticed that his two prior convictions were both felonies, meaning he’d had at least two more convictions. Apparently, they did not.

I can’t believe how many people will let an older defendant get away with excuses for failing the field sobriety tests. “Oh, I can’t follow the pen with my eyes because my eyes are old and feeble, oh, I can’t walk a straight line because I have arthritis in my knees.” Well, you know what, brother? If you’re in such bad shape that you can’t follow a pen or walk a straight line, you need to seriously reconsider whether you’re fit to drive at all, and if you do drive, you need to be extra careful, because you know when you start that car that you’re not as capable as the rest of us. So when you drink four beers before you get behind the wheel, that just shows an appalling disregard for the safety of others. It doesn’t get more selfish than that, friends.

Sorry, I’m ranting. Y’all continue.

Prior bad acts are generally inadmissible to prove that the accused acted in conformity therewith.

Just because a guy drive drunk before doesn’t prove he drove drunk this time.

They are admissible to show a common plan, scheme, design, or absence of mistake. If the accused claims he didn’t know that four beers would get him drunk, you might be able to point to his lengthy record of previous DWIs to rebut that claim.

**Bricker ** & Max, thanks. I understand the reasoning but part of me still thinks, " if is is a pattern…".

Actually, in my jury experience it was kind of interesting. The defendant refused to take a breathalyzer, and in Illinois you lose your license for refusing. I guess there is something to read and/or sign that states that. The defendant claimed he didn’t understand what it said. The prosecutor then asked him, “Did you understand it when you read it before?” That was immediately objected to and sustained. But it definitely clued a couple of us that it might not be his first DWI. For some reason, it reminded me of a TV show – something Perry Mason or Matlock (showing my age) or them LA Law/Practice smart lawyers might have done.

Just a quick add on to the other people who have told you the reason for this - the rule is different in child molestation and sexual assault cases. Broadly speaking prior similar acts are allowed to be shown by the prosecution in such cases.

That’s the comment Pepper Mill made!

Great minds run in the same channel…

Errr. I realize this ain’t GQ, but do you have a cite?

My research has not turned up a white collar crime sentencing cap.

I found this:

which doesn’t mention any such limitation.

And there is this article, which talks about federal sentences being increased.

But I haven’t found any per indictment or per total jury verdict cap. Can you help me out?

I’d love to, but the local paper has a pay-to-read archive. That’s where I found out that in spite of the Amico’s being charged (and some of them convicted) of approximately 1000 felony charges they were facing a maximum of 20 years in prison for it. Granted the number of felonies involved would have prevented any chance at parole, but that’s not the same thing as an extended life-long prison term.

Here’s a relatively recent story that touches on the situation, if you want to search the paper’s archives. (At the moment they seem to be FUBAR again.)

I honestly don’t see the difference. With these kinds of cases (Like Enron), thousands upon thousands have lost their jobs, pensions, etc… With robbery, one person might be out $50 bucks. A gas station? Couple hundred or so on a good night… Nothing to scoff at, but really not a big deal. Robbing the company and putting thousands of people out of work due to fraud deserves the electric chair if you ask me.

I agree with you. (Not quite about the electric chair - but I could be convinced.) I’d simply meant to report the way that the penal codes deal with the two different kinds of crime. Not to imply my approval of the dichotomy.


It says that Amico got an enhanced sentence–more time than the standard sentence.

Apparently what has happened here is that Amico was tried on only a small fraction of the offenses that he committed. Fraud trials tend to be quite expensive, so the prosecutor probably exercised discretion and only charged one or a few counts, got a conviction, and then asked the judge to enhance the sentence based on the additional, uncharged offenses.

The article discusses recent Supreme Court cases that require the jury to find sentencing facts beyond a reasonable doubt. In Amico’s case, the judge found the facts. But there is a more important nuance to consider: Amico was apparently sentenced in federal court. Federal courts apply federal sentencing law. So the case, at least the part of it discussed in the article, is unrelated to NYS law.

There is no mention of any cap, and I am unaware of any. Every offense has its maximum sentence, and there is the issue of concurrent sentencing. But as far ask I know, no state has a per indictment limit on sentencing. YMMV

I was sure it was Uncle Junior Soprano.

Yeah. What I’d been specifically commenting upon earlier was that at the time of the indictment it had been reported that even if the Amico’s had been convicted of all the offenses they were charged with because (the way I understood it) was that sentencing would have been concurrent, rather than consecutive, because it wasn’t a violent crime. Which might have made sense if we were talking 5 or even ten counts…

But 1000 counts?

(And, no, I don’t think I’m exaggerating on the number of counts on the original indictment: First was mortgage fraud. Then compounded by conspiracy, bribery, and embezzlement. Plus construction failings in the latter houses built by the company. Which added a whole new layer of conspiracy, bribery and embezzlement charges with the various building inspectors. Multiplied by approximately 150 houses that were involved in the fraud schemes. And once the Amico’s lawyer plead guilty and turned state’s evidence - it was pretty much all over for getting not-guilty verdicts.)

Hell, what’s wrong with using the original sentencing guidelines for the first charge, then adding, say, a month, for each additional count? So, 10-20 years, plus 1000 months would work for me.