Susan Estrich on Why Madoff “Pled Out”
It wasn’t to escape jail time.
Madoff, who is 70, is looking at a life sentence for his crimes. He had to know that coming into the courthouse to plead guilty.
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By pleading guilty, Madoff cut his losses, not in the way most defendants do, by getting rid of a couple of counts or getting the charges reduced or getting a deal for a lower sentence based on cooperation, but in the only way he could: He limited the time he will spend in the spotlight, limited the opportunity for public outcry, deprived his victims of a daily ritual for the weeks or months the trial might have lasted. We who might have liked to see him squirm, to watch his face as the mountains of lies were laid bare, will be deprived of that opportunity. We will not see him suffer.