Was Justice Served Yesterday?

Last night, instead of bedding down in his $7 million penthouse, Bernie Madoff spent the first of what will be thousands of nights sleeping in a bleak jail cell. But despite this reality, for many people, Madoff’s punishment just can’t adequately match the enormity of his crimes; his demeanor and attitude in yesterday’s courtroom didn’t convey sufficient remorse; and his guilty plea was seen as just his latest cover-up, protecting the other conspirators still at large. While Madoff is now paying for the lives he ruined, many of his victims, and other observers, are still not satisfied.

• The New York Daily News’ editorial board believes Madoff “is getting off light — and there is nothing that anyone can do about securing true justice.” That’s because, despite a life sentence, Madoff is already “70 years old and will surely soon begin to slip into natural decline.” Ultimately, he’ll only serve about “two lousy, damn days” for each life he ruined and each charity he crippled. [NYDN]

Newsday’s editorial board finds the outcome “so far, unsatisfactory.” Madoff’s admission of guilt “was an audacious dare to prosecutors — see how much more you can figure out.” Until he’s charged with conspiracy, prosecutors “will never have the leverage needed to fully solve this crime.” [Newsday]

• Ann Woolner writes that thousands of victims “got only part of what they wanted at yesterday’s plea hearing in federal court in Manhattan. They didn’t get answers as to where their money went or who helped Madoff take it away,” and some worry that they never will. [Bloomberg]

• The New York Post’s editorial board agrees that the case “cannot be closed until the enablers — unwitting or otherwise — have been brought to account, too.” [NYP]

• Michael Daly is irritated by Madoff’s lack of remorse. His admission of guilt “was accompanied by an assertive little nod of the head, and his voice carried no despair, no resignation, no obvious regret.” [NYDN]

• Andrea Peyser was equally unimpressed. Madoff was “emotionless. Petulant. Bitter. And pathetic. And he proved, beyond doubt, that he’s learned absolutely nothing,” making “nothing but excuses for his pathological behavior.” [NYP]

• Willard Foxton, son of a British man who killed himself after losing his life savings to Madoff, doesn’t “feel the punishment for his serious fraud is stiff enough — even if Bernie gets the full 150-year sentence, he’ll be staying in an open prison.” He suspects there are plenty of people “who would love the amenities, learning opportunities and free health care that you’ll find in the resort where Madoff will likely live out his days.” [NYP]

Was Justice Served Yesterday?