Madoff Lawyer Sorkin Receives Death Threats

There is no Sixth Amendment exception for accused criminals who are particularly out of favor with the public. Bernard Madoff is entitled to a lawyer, just like everyone else who is charged with a crime. Why, then, do some idiots feel the need to threaten Madoff's lawyer, Ira "Ike" Sorkin? The man is just doing his job (and as Jeralyn pointed out, he's done it by pleading Madoff straight up to all the charges against him -- hardly a strategy that should enrage the public).

Memo to the crazed loons who are threatening Sorkin: You're likely to need your own lawyer one day. You might want to rethink your animosity to those who spend their lives defending the accused.

< U.N. Summit Opens on Global Drug Policy : Wrong Approach | An Antidote to the Conservative Judiciary >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I've wondered (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by SOS on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:35:11 PM EST
    if the "death threat" has in some cases become a PR tactic for some lawyers to try to get at least a little sympathy for their client. Especially in high profile cases. Or to create super secret closed hearings or something.

    We live in crazy freaking world.

    The short explanation for why the idiots (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by scribe on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:11:48 PM EST
    are going after Sorkin, is that Madoff has been vilified in the NY press, particularly the tabloids, since minute one of the scandal.

    Big expansive pieces on innocent families trashed out of their life savings, depictions of Madoff and his family living the high life, you name it, all calculated to inflame the readership.  Some examples from today's papers:

    Live a long life in hell, say victims  (that's the headline):

    One wants him to rot in prison, another hopes he has to clean the penitentiary toilets and a few are praying Bernie Madoff meets up with jailhouse justice.

    Fuming victims of Madoff's $64.8 billion Ponzi scheme said Tuesday's news that the Wall Street scoundrel will be sent to prison for 150 years falls short of the punishment they desire.

    "He doesn't have 150 years to live, but I hope his time in jail will be hell on Earth," Joan Sinkin, 75, of Boynton Beach, Fla., said Tuesday.

    * * *
    The breathtaking, decades-long swindle ripped off thousands of investors, including charity groups and luminaries like Mets owner Fred Wilpon, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
    * * *
    Burt Ross - the former mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who lost $5 million - said he plans to be in the courtroom Thursday when Madoff admits his guilt.

    "He deserves no mercy whatsoever," said Ross, 65. "I just hope he doesn't get sent to a plush country club kind of penitentiary."

    Hearing that Madoff is fussy about cleanliness, Ross said he has the perfect prison job for the greedy financier. "I think latrine cleaning would be appropriate for a neat freak," he said.

    Diane Peskin, 45, of Milford, N.J., said she and her husband, Roger, 66, won't be satisfied until all of Madoff's accomplices, including members of his family, are behind bars, too.

    Then there's this:  They pull out the unemployed truck driver waiting on a liver transplant to tell the story of his parents, made destitute.

    Scott Spungin can't wait to meet Bernie Madoff.

    After watching his parents lose their life savings and vacation home in Madoff's Ponzi scheme, Spungin hopes to see the accused $50 billion swindler Thursday in Manhattan Federal Court.

    "I've got issues," an angry Spungin said Saturday after news that Madoff could plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors. "I'm looking at my parents, and they're absolutely devastated.

    All this calculated propaganda, intended to create outrage, serves a purpose beyond mere selling papers:  it masks the fact that there were far more people - many of them still employed in the financial industry - who made bundles off the backs of the same people who are now directing their anger at Madoff and Sorkin.  So long as they are angry at Madoff and Sorkin, those same people will not be looking at the other crooks walking free.

    Hmmm (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:21:29 PM EST
    Maybe there is some scapegoating going on, but Madoff did pull off the largest ponzi scheme in history, that is if you are not counting Iraq war.

    Fair enough, as far as it goes, but (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by scribe on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:29:23 PM EST
    the fact remains that the coverage has been calculated to enhance and exacerbate the outrage, simultaneously allowing others culpable in other schemes to escape notice.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:37:38 PM EST
    I agree many of the guilty are not in the spotlight. Madoff seems like a sociopath to me though, but he may just be like the rest of the lot. Maybe his only distinction is that he was both way more successful and way less successful than the rest of the crooks.

    I agree with squeaky. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Think Before You Type on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:24:53 PM EST
    The press is entitled to do its job.  People are still expected to act like adults and not issue threats.

    Of course, even if (none / 0) (#1)
    by Think Before You Type on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:18:22 PM EST
    Madoff were NOT entitled to legal representation, these people should not be issuing death threats.  Such threats are an unfortunate aspect of a free society.  They are made by the least mature among us, both left and right, who really don't think much about the logic or consequences of their actions.

    crazy!!!! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Lil on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:58:35 PM EST
    like all the incidents of folks killing stingrays after the Australian dude was accidently killed by one.

    Part and Parcel (none / 0) (#4)
    by pluege on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:59:51 PM EST
    to the enormous number of Americans who have no clue as to how the American system of government or rule of law work. But they're first in line to get a flag decal for their cars because they're soooo patriotic and they're the "real Americans".

    well, your flag decal (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:39:52 PM EST
    won't get you in to heaven anymore, they're already overcrowded, from your dirty little war. now jesus don't like killing, no matter what the reasons for, no your flag decal won't get you in to heaven anymore................

    mr. madoff is a greedy succubus, whose morals embarass an alley cat. mr. sorkin, his attorney, is doing his job. that doesn't mean he either likes mr. madoff, or condones his alleged crimes (judging from the advice rendered, i think we can assume he definitely doesn't condone mr. madoff's alleged malfeasance), but he is expected to zealously represent his client.

    anyone not able to separate the personal from the professional is likely to assume that lawyers and their clients are buds. these are the people most likely to threaten attorneys.

    unfortunately, since the majority of our population has little basic understanding of how our legal system actually works (so much for high school civics), that leaves a lot of potential threateners.

    Who in the negative or questionable limelight (none / 0) (#11)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:09:06 PM EST
    is lucky enough to avoid the threats? There's an element of violent-minded, angry and judgmental people in the country.

    That's an understatement (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MrConservative on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:03:57 PM EST
    yes there is, and always has been. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by cpinva on Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 03:33:40 AM EST
    There's an element of violent-minded, angry and judgmental people in the country.

    one difference now is that loudmouthed "pundits" and "entertainers" are encouraging their audiences to commit violence. don't think the "ditto heads" shy away from acting on rush's "joking" suggestions. ann coulter fans take her juvenile screeds, that masquerade as political analysis/commentary, seriously. hannity fans want to be "great americans".

    certainly, i'm not suggesting any of the aforementioned pundits really intend for people to take them at their word. unfortunately, given the average intellectual level of the average fan of these people, it should come as no surprise when they do.

    threats and violence are the next logical steps.


    It goes beyond the loudmouth "pundits" (none / 0) (#14)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 11:26:19 AM EST
    and "entertainers" these days.

    The extremely violent use of words in 2008 against both women candidates often made me very nervous. Not just for their personal safety, but the safety of their families, as well. Many of those tirades were started by people who use their media celebrity to give credibility to the judgments and do nothing to stop the escalation of their "viewers".

    It's one thing when the Rush's and the Coulter's, who are known to be over the top, do this and quite another when people who have a reputation for liberal fairness get that ball rolling.