Federal guidelines, which are advisory, state that criminal penalties should be “sufficient but not greater than necessary” to reflect the seriousness of the offense, promote respect for the law, ensure just punishment, and provide adequate deterrence of criminal conduct. A higher court would likely uphold the penalty because the sentencing judge “spoke to the issues” in the guidelines, said Alan Ellis, a National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers past president.
Bernard Madoff has potential grounds to appeal his 150-year prison sentence, but the chances are slim that he could avoid dying behind bars for bilking thousands of investors in a massive Ponzi scheme, reports USA Today. Madoff attorney Ira Lee Sorkin called the sentence “absurd” on the Today show. “There’s nothing in the sentencing guidelines that talks about making symbols of people,” he said.