Madoff: What's the Right Penalty?

Amid a clamor for justice, Bernie Madoff's lawyers are trying to limit their client's punishment for what may be the largest financial fraud in history
Bernard Madoff leaves U.S. federal court after a Mar. 10 hearing in New York. Madoff has agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of fraud. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

It's the question of the moment for many: Is there any punishment severe enough to fit Bernard Madoff's crime? With the perpetrator of what may be the largest financial fraud in history due to plead guilty on Mar. 12 to 11 felonies in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the issue of an appropriate penalty is about to move center stage. It's hardly surprising, given the magnitude of losses and number of lives shattered, that Madoff's victims have dreamed up all manner of punishments they would like visited upon him.

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