Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook 3 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (4 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   4 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Koch Brothers' Criminal Justice Reforms Aid Corporate Crooks

By       Message Dan Wright     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 2   Must Read 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 11/27/15

Author 503436
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

Reprinted from shadowproof.com

From flickr.com/photos/47422005@N04/7468312536/: Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice
(Image by DonkeyHotey)
  Permission   Details   DMCA


This seemed inevitable, didn't it? The New York Times reported on November 24 about an 11th-hour effort to twist a criminal justice reform package going through Congress into a get out of jail free card for corporate criminals.

The coalition to reform the criminal justice system was always a bit tenuous. A fair amount of libertarians, conservatives, liberals, and leftists have always agreed that the War on Drugs has been a failure and led to widespread injustice. But recently a new effort to reform the draconian drug war sentencing laws appeared to have linked the disparate ideological groups together towards a common end.

But now it appears that consensus-based effort let through a Trojan horse. The criminal justice reforms being prepared in the Republican-led House of Representatives will now reportedly include rollbacks on how corporations and business executives are prosecuted. The Times claims the new rules will make it "harder to prosecute corporate polluters, producers of tainted food and other white-collar criminals."

Koch Industries is said to be championing a bill sponsored be Representative Jim Sensenbrenner called the Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015, which will, among other things, raise the bar on what it takes to prosecute someone violating regulations on business.

If the Koch-backed legislation is enacted prosecutors will not just have to prove that a person or business broke the law, but that they "knew, or had reason to believe, the conduct was unlawful." This standard of intent or mens rea, will make it significantly harder to prosecute businesses that break laws designed to protect consumers and the environment.

The complexity of the regulations needed to police corporate misconduct in sectors like financial services, energy, food, and healthcare makes it easy for violators to claim ignorance -- especially if they are a large business employing a team of lawyers to write memos that interpret what the business is doing as legal. Forcing prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that not only was the law violated but that the violator knew they were violating the law could thwart a number of efforts -- in and out of the court room -- to rein in corporate misconduct. Of course, that is exactly why business groups and dirty energy-producers like Koch Industries love the idea.

Not surprisingly, the Republicans are pressing their advantage. It appears that the War on Drugs criminal justice reforms will not be allowed to make it through Congress unless the Koch brothers and business groups get their way on knocking out the teeth of corporate crime prosecution rules.

Democrats are now forced to decide if they will hold their nose on the corporate crime giveaway to see drug law sentencing reform make it through, or fight the Kochs and risk the whole effort imploding.

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 2   Must Read 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Clinton Broke Laws Obama Has Been Prosecuting People For Breaking

Toothless Dodd Frank: Wall Street Launders Derivatives Via Europe To Avoid Dodd-Frank

Koch Brothers' Criminal Justice Reforms Aid Corporate Crooks

War On Terror Has Created More Terrorism

CAP-Neocon Partnership Raises Concerns For Clinton Presidency