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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 07:51 AM

Robert Reich: Why BP Isnít a Criminal


Why BP Isnít a Criminal
Friday, November 16, 2012


Justice Department just entered into the largest criminal settlement in U.S. history with the giant oil company BP. BP plead guilty to 14 criminal counts, including manslaughter, and agreed to pay $4 billion over the next five years.

This is loony.

Mind you, Iím appalled by the carelessness and indifference of the BP executives responsible for the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that killed eleven people on April 20, 2010, and unleashed the worst oil spill in American history.

But it defies logic to make BP itself the criminal. Corporations arenít people. They canít know right from wrong. Theyíre incapable of criminal intent. They have no brains. Theyíre legal fictions ó pieces of paper filed away in a vault in some bank.

......(snip)......

Can we please get a grip? The only sentient beings in a corporation are the people who run them or work for them. When it comes to criminality, theyíre the ones who should be punished. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://robertreich.org/post/35848994755



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Reply Robert Reich: Why BP Isnít a Criminal (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
theKed Nov 2012 #1
Angry Dragon Nov 2012 #3
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #2
bluedigger Nov 2012 #4
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #6
amborin Nov 2012 #5
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #7

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:30 AM

1. How about they face some

of the same hurdles real criminals face? After all, "corporations are people too, my friend."

Barred from conducting business within the United States for the term of their sentence.

Barred from voting in future elections (or contributing moneyspeech to campaigns) - either for a period or indefinitely

Place the CEO or other executive deemed more culpable serve time in federal prison as a surrogate for the corporation.

I could go on..

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Response to theKed (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:52 AM

3. +475

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:38 AM

2. He's such a sharp man, but so clueless when it comes to Capitalism.

Sure, you can go after the individuals too, but what system created their motivations? Going after a corporation itself as criminal has important implications. This will be an interesting trial to watch.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:46 AM

4. What trial? They just plead out.

Nothing to see here, move along.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:56 PM

6. That's what I get for replying before coffee.

No, there's no trial. But Reich was writing about the charges they faced as a corporation, so I was mulling aloud. So! They settled and he's still got a beef with the process they had to go through, with criminal charges. Why?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:48 AM

5. Tony Hayward should be in jail; instead he's set to make millions in Iraq eom

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:01 PM

7. Wake me when he has an argument why BP should even exist...

as a private corporation, rather than having had all US assets seized, put under public management, and used to restore and compensate the Gulf region -- after the culture of profit-driven negligence and stupidity caused the Gulf of Mexico extinction event of 2010?

And of course the individual decision-makers and chiefs should be prosecuted as criminals.

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