Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Sins of the Fathers . . .

At the coffee shop this morning I was sitting next to a few people having an interesting discussion about Bernard Madoff. In particular, the question was how he ought to be punished. One suggested that he, his children, and his grandchildren ought to go to jail. Another pointed out that his grandchildren are not guilty of anything. (Madoff claims his children are also innocent, but Madoff is an admitted crook and liar). The intersting question is whether the fear that one’s children and grandchildren may be punished for one’s crimes would have an impact on behavior. I am not advocating it, but am simply suggesting it’s an interesting question for students of human behavior to contemplate. Were I a multicultural guy, I might be tempted to suggest that such a notion of justice is legitimate in some cultures. After all, who am I to judge?

Discussions - 5 Comments

Corruption of blood doesn't even apply to treason. Are you suggesting that Madoff's crime is worse?

That being said, concern for one's children may very well impact behavior in a way that deters certain crimes--especially if they pertain to one's estate. Perhaps it's a question of mortmain.

Think of honour crimes, where a muslim family executes one of its own and effectively the entire family is on it. Is it appropriate for the family to delegate one to do the deed, serve the time, {usually a minor who is mentally pressured into it and can be expected to be released at 18 or 21}, while the family escapes proper punishment.

That being said, the prohibition on the Corruption of Blood is but one more of the many ways in which "the new world" departed from those of the old.

The interesting thing about this case is whether the government will take the ill-gotten gains away from his children and grandchildren.
If you rob a bank, and then pay your relatives with the proceeds, they aren't going to be allowed to keep it. The same thing is true here. He was paying his family with money that was not his to pay them with.

As I understand it, there was a legitimate business which the family ran and the ponzi-fund run by the family patriarch. He claims that none of the family knew about the fraud. If that's the case, his family's assets in the legitimate business won't be touched, at least as I understand the law, and I might be wrong about that.

As for the "corruption of blood" does that have to do more with denial of rights in the future (right to vote, hold office, etc)? Does it have to do with direcly punishing children and grandchildren for crimes?

And do I recall that Jefferson says somewhere that honoring Franklin's granchildren will set a good precedent, firing the ambition of men to do good deeds so that their families will benefit in the future.

Getting a little close to sounding like death eaters here I think. Individual liberty: no person should suffer from relatives crimes. The money that was ill gotten must be returned. IF, we wanted change, instead of labeling his family mud bloods we should send him to federal pound me in the a** prison along with all the people in the regulatory agencies that let this happen. A bank robber would end up there, so would a pick pocket and especially a 19 year old black kid who had some mary jane on him. But because madoff is really just doing what the entire economy is based on he will probably end up spending a few months at club med and then back to live out his days in luxury laughing with his buddies about how he took one for the team and absorbed the hate of the ignorant sheep for a few weeks.

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