This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.
Prosecutors in the Bernard Madoff case were initially willing to allow the alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind to post $10 million bail and await trial ensconced in his Manhattan apartment. Mr. Madoff was cooperating with prosecutors, they said, beginning with his alleged confession to the FBI last month to being the author of a financial con game that bilked investors of as much as $50 billion.
Given these facts, a federal magistrate sent Mr. Madoff home. So it was that newspapers around the country ran a photo of a bemused-looking (or was that really a smirk?) Mr. Madoff walking the streets of Manhattan just days after his alleged Ponzi scheme had rocked the financial world and destroyed the dreams of thousands of investors. It was difficult to reconcile the image of the free man with the human destruction he is accused of having wrought.
Mr. Madoff looked just as bemused, leaving U.S. District Court in Manhattan this week even though prosecutors now want the magistrate, Judge Ronald L. Ellis, to revoke his bail.
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