Shouldn’t GM get the death penalty for its murders?
Maybe in the beginning it was simple negligence and could qualify as manslaughter. But they knew about the problem for ten years, didn’t fix it, and so the body count continued to increase.
Where are our “get tough on crime” politicians when we need them? Oops, I forgot, our “get tough on crime” politicians are really just “get tough on some crimes.” They aren’t about to get tough on crimes committed by corporations. As far as they are apparently concerned, corporations can commit any number of murders, and never face the death penalty.
Kind of bloodthirsty aren’t we tonight, Mr. Catholic Worker? Well, I should hasten to add that I am not proposing that the stockholders and management should actually be executed. But the stockholders should lose all of their investment. The government should take over the corporation, sort like a bankruptcy receivership, and sell its stock on the stock market to the highest bidders. The stockholders would hopefully learn a valuable lesson about neglecting their corporate governance duties and a message would be sent to all other corporations.
But we don’t have laws providing for a corporate death penalty, because the economic aristocracy running this nation is just fine with the situation the way it is. GM didn’t kill any of their kids. The victims were just middle and working class folks who bought these cars. They don’t count to the economic aristocrats who rule our economics and politics. Like the aristocrat in the carriage in A Tale of Two Cities, who runs down and kills a child, GM will toss a few coins out the back window at the grieving relatives and rush away to another meeting with the politicians they have bought and paid for with their stockholders’ money.
So it goes, on our way to the ash heap of history. More scandalous tragedy, more innocent blood, more thugs and criminals uncaught and unpunished, free to kill again.
Why don’t we kill corporations who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?
Here’s the FB page I started when BP trashed the gulf: We need a death penalty for corporations.
And then there’s my infamous “11 necessary measures to curb the corporate crime rate” which I wrote in the late 1990s. It was picked up by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, and even made it to the Mother Jones website. Reprinted here because it needs to be read again.
- The stockholders and management of corporations convicted of felonies should lose their right to vote and run for public office.
- A registry should be maintained in each area of criminal corporations, and any corporation convicted of a felony should be required to register with the local police. A notice should be sent to all of their neighbors that a criminal corporation is taking up residence in their locality.
- Criminal corporations should lose all corporate welfare benefits and government contracts.
- Criminal corporations should be required to make weekly visits to parole officers, and their stockholders and management should be subject to random drug tests (either urine or hair).
- Criminal corporations should not be allowed to operate within 500 yards of a school, church or library.
- Criminal corporations should be required to place the phrase “A criminal corporation” on all advertising, signs and vehicles as a public warning.
- If criminal corporations violate the terms of their parole, their stockholders and officers should go to jail.
- In addition to the fine on the corporation, the personal assets of stockholders should be subject to seizure to satisfy the debts/penalties of the corporation. IOW, the “corporate shield of liability” for criminal corporations should be lifted.
- The increasing number of lawless corporations calls for stricter penalties. Bring back the death penalty for corporations. In this context, the “˜death penalty’ is the closure of the corporation, the forfeiture of its assets to its victims and/or the government and the winding up of its affairs by a court appointed receiver.
- Stockholders and management should be required to wear monitoring bracelets for the duration of their parole, and may not travel outside of their jurisdiction without a written pass from their parole officer.
- The stockholders and management of criminal corporations may not associate with the stockholders and management of other corporate felons, and are forbidden to keep and bear arms.