Monday, March 2, 2015

‘Justice Deferred [sic]’ And ‘Too Big To Jail’

First, let me offer my thanks to friends/neighbors George and Barbara B-not-Bush, who provided me unasked with their print copy of this month's New York Review of Books. And while I do not know the man face to face (perhaps fortunately, as that is because I have not confronted the federal bench), I have come to have great respect for Jed S. Rakoff, US District Judge for the Southern District of New York, writer for NY Review of occasional reviews of nontechnical legal books, such as the one this post focuses on, Brandon L. Garrett's Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations.

I don't think I need to explain to any of you why you should care about this matter, but here's the short of it: in the past couple of decades, Justice departments of presidents of both major political parties have worked out agreements with large corporations such that the corporation is not prosecuted and not punished for clearly illegal misdeeds... and the persons responsible, be they board members, upper-level managers, legal teams, professional investment staff, or anyone else employed by these corporations, are not prosecuted or retrained at all. In other words, crimes are committed and noted, slaps on wrists are administered, and the people who committed them are not so much as formally reprimanded, let alone charged. Needless to say, the frequency of such crimes is growing greatly; that's what happens when felonies are simply neglected without any attempt to punish their perpetrators or to repair the faulty corporate procedures that allow them... indeed, encourage them... to be committed.

Judge Rakoff outlines the contents of Mr. Garrett's book much better than I can. Please read the review at the link above.

(Aside: regrettably, HPL seems not to have even one copy of this book, though they have at least one other book by Garrett in their catalog. Too Big to Jail is not even an expensive book on Amazon; I may get one myself.)

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