Friday, April 15, 2011

Crime and Punishment

Alan Hevesi is a convicted thief and former New York State Comptroller. As the sole trustee - the one official responsible - for New York's $125 billion pension fund, he accepted bribes and corrupted his office. For this, he's been sentenced to jail. But only for 1 to 4 years! He supposedly accepted a million bucks as a bribe; that's more money than most New Yorkers make in a decade, let alone one-to-four years.

To put this in context, a Goldman Sachs programmer who stole codes is going to lockup for 8 years, and a small-time con artist is looking at 2.5 years. Can anybody find how much time a bank robber or serial car thief would face? I'll bet they get harder time than this scoundrel Hevesi.

The punishment should fit the crime, and the crime here involved a large sum of money and an egregious breach of public trust. Both of those factors militate towards harsher sentencing of big-time corruption by an elected official.

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