Judges like U.S. District Judge Rakoff of Manhattan are human beings. In addition, most of them think quite well of themselves. Therefore, there's no predicting how they will respond to an influence game foisted on them.
In 11 days, Judge Rakoff will hand down a sentence on convicted insider trader Rajat Gupta. Already, as Bloomberg reports, 200 letters have come to him asking for a lenient approach. After all, Gupta has a long track record for doing good in society. Among the senders are Bill Gates.
As we who know the court system realize, there is a comprehensive pre-sentencing report that is done. The judge takes that seriously because it is the result of the investigation of many factors which should be considered in a sentencing.
That pre-sentencing document is the legal system addressing the legal system. A peer relationship. All the letters represent outsiders attempting to influence a system they are not part of and maybe don't understand.
It's not impossible that Judge Rakoff could become annoyed with this barrage of paper. When the Rhode Island Supreme Court was going to review the verdict in the second lead paint public nuisance trial there was s similar barrage of amicus briefs supporting the plaintiff. The RI Supreme Court tossed the case Download Statev.LeadIndustriesAssoc.,Inc.