The judge called Madoff's crimes "extraordinarily evil." Now, I was never a litigator, but I'm pretty sure that's never a good sign.
Madoff did apologize to his victims, for whatever that's worth. At this point, though, I'm pretty sure that they don't give a damn how sorry he is.
Obviously, the 71 year-old Madoff won't be serving the full sentence, but the judge said that it was necessary in order to deter others from running the same kind of Ponzi schemes.
So let this be a lesson for in house counsel that you can pass along to the heads of your companies: apologizing is nice and all, but not stealing the money in the first place is probably the better strategy.
See Also: Bernard Madoff gets maximum 150 years in prison (AP) Madoff's 150-Year Sentence: Long But Not Longest (WSJ Law Blog) Breaking: Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years (Above the Law)