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Corporate crime and making amends.

Laufer, William S.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) American Criminal. 44(4):1307-1319.

Increasing calls for limits on the use of corporate criminal liability naturally follow periods of
heightened regulatory scrutiny. (1) The cyclical history of corporate scandals, resulting in law
reforms, active law enforcement, subsequent periods of regulatory laxity, and new scandals,
invites the specter of over-criminalization. (2) In the aftermath of the most recent spate of
scandals, the post-Enron era, conservative and libertarian concerns about the overreaching of
criminal law must account for an emerging trend: The pre-trial diversion of large entities through
plea agreements that ask offending corporations to simply make amends. Corporate making
amends allows miscreant corporations of scale to express remorse, engage in a reincarnation
through compliance, and resume business as a reformed non-offender. In this article, we ask how
the principles and practices of making amends or restorative justice connect with standards of
corporate culpability and liability and, ultimately, questions of fairness. (excerpt)


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