Bernard Madoff, who scammed investors out of $20bn (€17.8bn) in history's biggest Ponzi scheme, wants one more chance to make a pitch: this time for his freedom.
Madoff's lawyer on Wednesday asked a New York federal judge to allow his client to personally appeal for compassionate release from his 150-year sentence on the grounds that he's dying from kidney failure. Madoff has so far served 10 years.
"Resolution of Madoff's motion for compassionate release is likely to be the last proceeding in this case before Madoff's death," said his lawyer, Brandon Sample.
"Allowing Madoff to give what is, in effect, a final dying, personal plea is imminently reasonable."
Mr Sample said Madoff (81), wants a public hearing but would make his appearance over the phone rather than in person. In a letter in response, federal prosecutors in New York told the judge that whatever Madoff had to say "at this point would be self-serving and of limited value".
Madoff last month asked for early release, saying he was likely to die within the next 18 months. Prosecutors pushed back, arguing that Madoff doesn't deserve a break because of the magnitude of his crimes and his lack of remorse.
In a separate letter to US Circuit Court judge Denny Chin late Wednesday, Mr Sample said retribution alone is not a sufficient reason to keep Madoff behind bars in his final days.