Kendall Coffey Quotes

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Pending Presidential Election

Interview with Kendall Coffey Miami – Ft. Lauderdale Market (Florida elections) WFOR CBS4 News, November 13, 2008  11:04 pm David Sutta: Anticipation of this election has been a long time coming.  So much that before the polls even open on Tuesday, more than 30% of South Florida’s vote will already be in.  Monday, election offices begin sorting absentee and early voting ballots in preparation for a long day of counting. All of our voting precincts are set up. Extra machines and materials are loaded up on trucks as back-up should something go wrong. Exactly what a flood of lawyers will be watching. There will be more people watching tomorrow’s election at the polls than ever before. Why is that? JC Planas: Um, well, I don’t know. I think Florida has always been a battleground state. It’s an important state. It’s a must-win for the McCain campaign. David Sutta: And a priority for Obama. Both parties, which have fought previous election results in court, will have more than 500 lawyers spread out across South Florida’s polling sites. Kendall Coffey: This is not about dueling lawyers; this is about lawyers as problem solvers. David Sutta: We hope to avoid this–elections hanging by a chad eight years ago. Kendall Coffey: We said sometimes that the rest of the nation is looking for its Florida. Here we go again. But as far as we’re concerned, it’s never again. David Sutta: Florida in the spotlight once again!  Polling showing a tight race, and your vote – perhaps the most powerful ones in...

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Foreclosure Modifications

Interview with Kendall Coffey Miami – Ft. Lauderdale Market WFOR CBS4 News, February 18, 2009 6:00 pm  [Barack Obama speaking] Antonio Moore: I’m Antonio Moore. The presidential announcement couldn’t have come at a better time. In Miami-Dade county alone, there were record number of foreclosures in January: 6,042. That’s the highest ever in a single month. Tens of thousands of South Floridians will now qualify for help. CBS4 Your Money Reporter, CBS4’s David Sutta is on Miami Beach. David, you’re going to break down exactly what this plan will mean for homeowners. David Sutta: You know, this is not only going to help people that are already in foreclosure, this plan is going to help the people that are on the verge of foreclosure. We’re talking about the people in South Florida that are spending 30 to 40% of their money to pay their mortgage. This is also going to help you people at home that are owing more on your house than it’s worth. [Reporters interviewing homeowners] [Barack Obama speaking] David Sutta: First, mortgages will be modified so you no longer are paying more than 31%, of your income on your home. For a person making $55,000, a typical payment on a $300,000 home would drop from $1900 to $1400 a month. That’s $500 back in your wallet every month.  But the banks aren’t losing money here.  The government’s just picking up the tab.  The president also has a proposal for those of you who owe more on your home than it’s worth.  Mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can now be refinanced up to 105% of the current value of the property.  Previously it was 80%. So, if you owe $315,000 on a home that’s worth just $300,000 you’re now able to refinance through the government program. The final point is for those facing bankruptcy:  Congress is going to be asked to allow bankruptcy judges to adjust what you owe on your house based on what it’s worth–something never done before – not even during the great depression. Kendall Coffey: This is going to be a new territory, a new set of fascinating questions, and it will not be an easy thing for the Obama administration to give bankruptcy judges the power. David Sutta: Three points of hope for families in South Florida trying to keep the American dream...

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The Sentencing of Madoff

Interview with Kendall Coffey CNN – Rick Sanchez March 12, 2009 Rick Sanchez: None of those people had any problem with talking to us today on TV. As a matter of fact, they wanted to get that message out. They’ve been wanting to get that message out for months now. Ashley Banfield is good enough to join us.  She is the host of “In-Session TV.” Also, Kendall Coffey, former federal prosecutor in Miami. He and I worked many a cases.  I don’t remember any quite like this one though in South Florida. Ash, I want to begin with you. I want to begin with you. Is this a death sentence for Bernie Madoff? Ashley Banfield: You know most people think “yes,” and you probably heard the number being thrown out there a lot: up to 150 years. And the reality is, Rick, it’s not going to be 150 years.  It’s not likely that these will all be concurrent sentences, or rather a consecutive sentence, but more likely some concurrency. And there’s a lot, by the way, that Bernie Madoff is doing and could be doing to mitigate the numbers of years that the judge will ultimately hand down. Rick Sanchez: You almost wonder where he’s going to end up going to. Kendall, let me bring you into this question because a lot of people are wondering–is this guy going to end up in one of those country club jails we hear about all the time? Kendall Coffey: You know so many times the interest of the public sort of drops off after the sentencing.  This time, Rick, I think a lot of the victims are going to want to know where he’s staying. Now that he’s going from the “penthouse,” they want him to be going to the “big house.” In some of the low-security facilities, some of the Enron era marquee names are staying in right now. You remember Bernie Ebbers from WorldCom, John Regis from Adelphia–may not be grim and bleak enough as far as lot of these victims are concerned. Rick Sanchez: You do wonder, though, and I don’t know which one of you wants to tackle this – why he went in today and said “I did it” knowing that.  I mean he’s not going to getting out any time soon. Why didn’t he fight this? Kendall Coffey: I think he knew he’s heading to effectively, a life sentence, but also knew he couldn’t save himself, and I think he’s trying to, in effect, do damage control for others to prevent some of the collateral damage to friends and family.   He’s hoping that once the prosecution against Bernie Madoff ends, maybe the case in the investigation of the Bernie Madoff fraud may slow down a little bit – may taper off – because there’s a lot more people that have explaining to do about how this happened. Ashley Banfield: I’m going to add to what Kendall’s saying.  I think there’s a lot of that, and then...

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Comments on the Death Penalty

Interview with Kendall Coffey CNN – October 31, 2007 Kendall Coffey: The issue before the U.S. Supreme Court right now is lethal injection. But many are properly seeing it as part of a broader attack on the death penalty.  And the United States and the American Bar Association, on separate grounds entirely, came out yesterday asking for a moratorium throughout the country on the death penalty so that the basic fairness within which death penalty defendants are tried and judged is more carefully examined…. A horrifically botched execution. It’s occurred elsewhere.  We have a love-hate relationship with the death-penalty. We see these despicable crimes; we want the maximum punishment applied to people who brutally kill children or to terrorists. At the same time we’re very concerned about mistakes being made; both mistakes with respect to selecting who is worthy of dying, if anyone, and mistakes with respect to the actual administration of execution and these kind of cases where horrible pains and horrible mistreatment occurs in the course of an execution, are very troubling to Americans and obviously of great concern to the United States Supreme Court… Right now I think the rest of the country is basically standing back and saying, “The U.S. Supreme Court wants to hear this case in January in terms of looking at whether or not the way legal injection is administered constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. So I think every state is going to hold back on capital punishment, at least with respect to lethal injection until the Supreme Court decides what to do.  Theoretically, states could adopt other forms of execution.  I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think death penalty opponents, death penalty advocates, are going to be holding their breathe until the Supreme Court rules…. Well, that’s certainly part of the controversy, with respect to these last minute appeals of death row inmates, is waiting to the last minute. But the court has a much broader issue to look at. … And I think in January…They’re not going to focus on whether this particular death-row inmate was last minute or not.  They’ve already indicated based on rulings they’ve made with respect to holding off other executions of other inmates; that this case has broad implications for death-row inmates across the country and I think what they want to know is whether the lethal injection process is being administered in a way that is unnecessarily cruel.  There is pain when someone is put to death; but the question is whether there could be improvements in the training of people who do it.   Remember doctors are not ethically allowed to be involved in putting people to death in this country through executions; so there are real questions about prison officials who are administering it.  And at the same time, are the actual chemical ingredients something that need to be recalibrated to make sure there is a more humane way of accomplishing something that is inherently inhumane?…… Well, that is an odd but...

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