Criminal law and its enforcement are notoriously hypocritical. It is bad enough that, as Anatole France wrote in 1894, “the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.” But now, more than a century later, even the pretense of equality before the law receives little more than lip service. For instance, while the US sends hundreds of thousands of poor people to prison every year, high-level corporate executives, with only the rarest of exceptions, have become effectively immune from any meaningful prosecution for crimes committed on behalf of their companies.
In some cases, these executives have literally gotten away with murder, at least according to John C. Coffee Jr. in his new book, Corporate Crime and Punishment: The Crisis of Underenforcement….
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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