A Federal judge sentenced Theranos, Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes to eleven years and three months in prison last week. Essentially the judge had limitless options, with only execution being off the table. Based on the maximum sentences for each the four crimes she was convicted of, she theoretically could have been given the equivalent of life in prison. Prosecutors asked for a 15-year sentence, three years of supervised release, and more than $800 million damages. The layers for Holmes, now 38, had asked for home detainment, community service, and no more than 18 months in prison. (My son spent half that in jail for a reckless driving offense when he was 18. Just for perspective….)
What did Holmes do? Wikipedia has an excellent one-stop summary: the short version is that she invented a purported blood testing system that didn’t work, faked data, sucked in investors, doctors and patients, made billions, and engaged in all manner of lies, threats, manipulations and schemes to avoid the consequences of her actions. The government argued that Holmes deserved a severe punishment because “dozens of investors lost $700 million and numerous patients received unreliable or wholly inaccurate medical information from Theranos’ flawed tests, placing those patients’ health at serious risk.” This is undoubtedly true. Her defenders counter than “she didn’t kill anybody,” she is a first time offender, and her crime was one of non-violence. This is also true.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is….