Sam Waksal's 9 Month Sentence Cut

Forbes and the New York Post are making a big deal out of former IMClone President Sam Waksal getting 9 months off his 87 month sentence for having participated in RDAP, a 12 month residential drug and alcohol program for inmates.

The papers seem offended that Waksal didn't acknowledge an alcohol program until he was about to be sentenced. So what?

Waksal pleaded guilty to the charges as filed against him. He pleaded guilty without a plea agreement and he didn't cooperate against anyone else. A perusal of the court docket sheet in his case shows he paid more than $4 million in fines and restitution.

Waksal was on home detention prior to his surrendering to prison. Even the granting of his request to visit his elderly, sick mother for a day was met with a barrage of conditions A court order available on the case docket sheet advises him: You can leave after 8 am, you must be home by 8 pm, you can't make any stops along the way and you must call the probation department at noon.

I'm not surprised someone stuck at home 24/7 and subjected to such rigid restrictions would develop a drinking problem. As far as Waksal's reduction is concerned, I think he earned it. [More..]

He spent 500 hours in the program. A BOP study shows inmates who participate in RDAP are less likely to reoffend.

We need more RDAP programs. Forbes reports the waiting list among inmates to get in exceeds 7,000.

The 2009 Criminal Justice Transition Coalition, a group of organizations advocating criminal justice reform, is asking President-elect Barack Obama to expand the program to yet more inmates. Even Sam Waksal might drink to that.

We all should.

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    Rilly? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Fabian on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:14:48 PM EST
    I'm not surprised someone stuck at home 24/7 and subjected to such rigid restrictions would develop a drinking problem.

    Shee!t.  Every handicapped and disabled person who can't leave home at will should have substance abuse problems then.  Plus children.  Plus anyone who has care taking responsibilities that limit their ability to leave at will.  Plus anyone whose economic circumstances restrict their movement due to lack of transportation.  

    Good grief.  What did the human race do before the invention of cell phones, television and the automobile?  Did they all waste away from staring at the same four walls for months on end?

    I'm thinking his home (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:51:01 PM EST
    is probably a fairly nice place to be confined.

    Anticipation of incarceration may have contributed to his drinking, though.


    I'd agree with that. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Fabian on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:11:01 PM EST
    It's probably situational depression which is treatable with therapy and drugs, both which are readily available to mere civilians.

    Jumping straight into the bottle sounds more like a tendency becoming a habit.


    If it truly did turn onto a habit (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 04:51:51 PM EST
    Vick also did this. He suddenly had a drug problem. Which could help him secure an earlier release to a halfway house and on his way back to the NFL since the state has decided not to go forward with any additional charges/trial/punishment.

    reduce crime? (none / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 07:12:24 PM EST
    RDAP programs are great in reducing crime in real drug-related criminals.  Unless you're saying that alcohol somehow led Waksal to his crimes, I don't see the point of commending RDAP programs in general.

    that's silly (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 07:33:44 PM EST
    treatment reduces recidivism -- crimes committed after a defendant's release from prison.  The treatment can't undo a past crime but it might help prevent a future one.