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Lecture 12

CC212 Lecture 12: CC 212 week 12

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Department
Criminology
Course
CC212
Professor
Christopher Anderson
Semester
Fall

Description
CC 212 WEEK 12 Why the difference? • Criminal trials: loss of freedom, asset forfeiture, loss of social status, stigma – trying to bring them down to the regular person’s financial level • Civil trials: financial loss, forfeiture laws Who prosecutes in US? • United states attorney (general) • Criminal division of US Dept. of Justice oversees 300 federal laws • Other law enforcement agencies • Not enforced Use of prison for WCC • Problem of deterrence and WCC – they tend to offend, pay a fine then keep on doing the same thing • WCCs have more to lose • Demographics of WCCs • 9/11 had a big impact on WCC, more resources went towards homeland security instead of WCC Criminal law and corporations • Why low deterrence? Not consistent: the acts and laws aren’t easily identifiable and clear • Focus on street crime instead • Inconsistency in terms of coverage • Problems with law enforcement investigations of WCC Is it moral or criminal? • Role of legitimacy of the law – public doesn’t see the law as effective or legitimate • Braithwaite (1985) sees excessive law as backfiring, WCCs are more resentful of the law • “this is how business is done” – WCCs say this isn’t something the law should be involved in Is there a flaw in corporations that make them criminal? • Problem of profit motive • Amoral calculations: morality does not play into thinking • Problem of collective action in WCC • Problem of culpability in WCC Normalization of deviance (Vaughan, 1996) • Culture of corporation normalizes and rationalizes risk and danger • Criminal penalties are hard to impose • Stigma is short lived (Ford still sells cars after the Pinto case) Problems with civil courts • Victims prefer civil actions • Government agencies • Criminal law: what criminal acts occur • Civil law: based on rights and obligations of persons • Civil: more practical when evidence is weak • Less burden of proof needed, doesn’t need beyond a reasonable doubt Criminal law: when is it preferred? • Cases of public outrage • When responsibility is clear-cut case • Enron and WorldCom: had public outrage and loss of life savings to investors Results of Tort law and WCC • Deals with loss • Problems with initial financial loss, but corporation can recover • Time lapse between exposure and injury: problems with awards by courts Deterrence through tort law? YES • Punishment is more certain with civil law • Economic costs are high • Job loss of the victimizers Deterrence with tort law? NO • Judgements are small compared to annual profits • Out of court settlements (gag orders) – leads to nobody knowing about the incident, not public record • Are people punished when fine paid by corporation? • Some judgements are never paid (bankruptcy protection) Other problems with prosecuting WCC • Cost of criminal cases • Documentary format: what gets destroyed? • Encryption problems Problems with sentencing WCCs • Many have no prior convictions • Are good citizens with low risk for re-offending • WCCs may appear to have suffered loss of job, social status, loss of share price, loss of assets Recent proposed changes to mens rea laws (US) • Acts: actus reas • Mental state: mens rea • Under new rules, prosecutors would have to prove defendant knew they did it and it was prohibited • WCCs could claim ignorance of the law, weaker enforcement of regulatory laws, increased litigation with uncertainty of conviction New types: introduction • Technology facilitates new forms of WCC • Internet, skype, etc. • Ex. Send money to get your inheritance from rich Nigerian uncle Computer hackers and WCC • Work by Pontell and Rosoff point to old types of WCC being perfected by computers • Examples: identity theft can now be done online, online banking Teens and WCC • New field called white collar delinquency – teens stealing money online • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (US) covers harm to institution and people (over $5k) • Under 5k isn’t taken seriously What types of harm occurs? • Harm to businesses, computer systems • Harm to people • Viruses: lost time • Breached security codes, classified information What is lost annually? • Difficult to estimate • Problem with disclosure from victims Case examples
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