Would you drive yourself to jail?
This story got me thinking.
To recap, Samuel Israel was a hedge fund manager who defrauded investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars. He was convicted, sentenced to 20 years and out on bail while authorities prepared his medication (I didn't know they did that). This CNN story has a little more background.
First, thinking about this has got me wondering if long prison sentences are appropriate for monetary crimes. I'm sure this guy is an ass, and the amounts of money he stole very likely could have ruined lives (cf. Enron), but wouldn't forcing him to live as a pauper while repaying his victims be a better sentence?
Second, and the thing that kind of blew my mind a little, he was supposed to drive himself to prison to start his 20 year sentence. The guy's 48. Neither article says if there's any possibility of parole or time-off for good behavior, but apparently Israel considered it a death sentence. So what's he got to lose? I can't fathom calmly driving myself to prison to surrender what could very possibly be the last third of my life. And especially not if I was as narcissistic as this guy has to be. What the hell were they thinking? If this guy isn't out of the country already, I'll be very surprised.