When Will Texas Execute a Corporation?
February 17, 2013 8:20 AM Subscribe
In light of this FPP
about Elizabeth Warren grilling some regulatory flunkies about how they never take banks to trial, I was wondering:
Has anyone ever made an Equal Protection argument that their prosecution / conviction / sentence for some crime is discriminatory in light of the slap-on-the-wrist that corporations get away with? Has anyone ever succeeded
with such an argument?
posted by spacewrench to law & government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(IAAL, but in a different area, so I'm not much better off than a layperson in picking useful results from Teh Googles out from the chaff.)
I imagine you'd need a minority defendant for some drug crime, preferably one who was subjected to asset forfeiture, and you'd set him up against HSBC's wrist-slap for drug-money laundering. Why did the minority person get run over the coals, when the wealthy, "non-minority" "person" didn't? Is it not impermissible discrimination?
(Yes, I am aware that crazy prisoner lawsuits advance all sorts of wacky legal theories, that they gum up the court system, and that real lawyers roll their eyes. But I'm asking whether there's a specific example of this argument being made successfully, or a specific example of it being made in an appropriate case and rejected for some legally-sound reason.)
Actually, as an add-on bonus question, why don't prosecutors invoke asset forfeiture against corporate defendants? With the lower standard of proof, it seems that they could take all of HSBC or BP or Exxon-Mobil's assets pretty easily, and pad their budgets much more cushily than by stealing stuff from friends or relatives of drug dealers...