He had the best defense money could buy; the judge was impartial; the jury wanted to acquit him but yielded to the force of facts. Rajat Gupta has been found guilty of insider trading and faces sentencing for his crimes.So throw the book at him. Hard. It needs to hurt and it needs to be seen to hurt.Gupta’s betrayal of the trust of his colleagues and the public was monumental. It was shocking, shameful, and without excuse. He was worth $80 million already according to testimony at the trial, but for greed like his, that wasn’t enough. He had to have more even if it meant breaking the law, betraying the company that gave him so much trust, and cheating ordinary investors to further enrich his rich and powerful crony.What happens next should hurt him, a lot. He should go to jail for a very long time. He should lose zillions — so much, that his family will feel a severe and serious collapse of their lifestyle. Via Meadia doesn’t normally wish this on anyone, but it would be fitting and proper for hungry plaintiff’s lawyers representing the investors who suffered because of his lawbreaking to pick the bones of his fortune clean with hundreds and thousands of harassing lawsuits. (If the laws as they now stand do not allow for the destruction of a tainted fortune through harsh, confiscatory fines and restitution suits, they should change. Those tempted to cheat in our financial markets must understand that they risk even the most basic financial security for their families when they go astray.)We say this not because we hate business and capitalism, but because we think they are the most important methods humanity has yet found to better its condition. Business and capitalism depend on the rule of law and on the ethics of those who rise in the system. When vicious, abusive and unprincipled greedmeisters like Gupta violate trust and corrupt the core workings of the system, they are endangering the operation of the system on which all our economic hopes and livelihoods depend.The harm Gupta has done goes beyond the direct consequences of his fraud, his betrayal and his lies. He damaged and weakened the framework of trust on which the capitalist system depends. He has weakened the faith in tens of millions of people that the system can be fair and that the rich must also play by the rules.To even the score, he must now become an example of what a terrible vengeance will be wreaked on those who do what he did. The depth of his fall, the awful consequences of his actions, the horrendous consequences for those he loved and cared about must be so clear that others will be deterred — and that society will see that justice is executed on the strong and the rich as well as on the friendless and the poor.No human being — not Rajat Gupta, not Jerry Sandusky — is all evil. We are all complex, fearfully made mixtures of good and bad, weak and strong, wisdom and folly. No human justice is perfect. No one in a court of law — not the judge, not the jury, not the spectators or the lawyers or the defendant — is wholly innocent.But the law is there to protect the people, and to do this job the law must sometimes be stern and even harsh. This is one of those cases. There is much to admire in Mr. Gupta’s rise, his life and his talents. But that cannot, must not stay the hand of justice in this case. I very much hope that Mr. Gupta and his family find peace, but the road to that peace must now pass through dark and desolate landscapes. Shame, pain, financial loss: those are the consequences of Rajat Gupta’s choices, and those are the consequences he and his family must now bear.The big fish in America’s financial markets must be held accountable for their crimes, or America itself is in danger. Inevitably given the complicated nature of the financial markets it is going to be hard to write laws that protect the innocent without being dangerously vague and broad. Great care should be taken in writing these laws not to criminalize legitimate if sharp financial practice. And giving excessive power to prosecutors and politicians to brandish broad, vague laws to force Wall Street to do their bidding is a cure as bad as any disease.This is all the more reason for the friends and supporters of capitalist enterprise to get in there first with smart. limited but extremely tough laws that can police our financial markets without wrecking them. If capitalism’s friends can’t do a proper job policing it and protecting the public from the bad guys, capitalism’s enemies will step in and do it for us.Bad idea.