Sunday, November 19, 2017
Keeping It Real: Why is Bernie Madoff Home?
By Rev. Al Sharpton
Published February 5, 2009

The disparity in the criminal justice system is profoundly illustrated in the case of Bernie Madoff the prominent investment manager who's hedge fund, Ascot Partners, was found to be a giant scam responsible for robbing at least three million people by latest calculations. The travesty in the Madoff case and many other cases around the country is that people of color and the poor are disproportionately incarcerated and held without bail or with unreachable bail at a disproportionate amount compared to whites. If a person in Compton steals a loaf of bread they are subjected to jail and have to wait for trial. Madoff, on the other hand, even after robbing endless people, was ordered under house arrest and proceeded to violate the terms of that agreement by mailing jewels and money to relatives and friends. And, even after this newfound revelation that he violated the terms of his bail, a Judge sent him back to his Penthouse on 64th Street in Manhattan. The Madoff case represents the crisis in the criminal justice system with "Different Strokes for Different Folks" mentality and while Madoff is under house arrest in his 64th street Penthouse, disenfranchised and poor people all over the country are being railroaded by the criminal justice system spending endless time waiting for trials on lesser counts.

National Action Network under the leadership of the Decency Initiative will protest this disparity this Saturday in front of Bernie Madoff's home because while Madoff is in the Penthouse, our people are in the Big House."

To compound the problem many of our people after serving many months in jail are found not guilty but have already spent time in jail because they didn't get Madoff treatment waiting trial. We must have a criminal justice system fair to everyone.


Categories: Op-Ed

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