June 26, 2005


David Fiege makes a very good point. Harsh punishments, for all we know, don't really deter regular crime very well, including burglaries, murders, or other crimes of desperation, or crimes done in the "heat of the moment". But white-collar crime—corporate fraud especially—isn't like that. The criminals know full well what they're doing, have time to plan it out, and think very, very carefully beforehand about the costs and benefits of their actions. The threat of seriously brutal punishment really ought to be able to deter corporate criminals like John Rigas or Dennis Kszlowski. So why not threaten to toss these crooks into ordinary Leavenworth-style prisons, where the soap is always slippery and the guards are always, um, watching over you? That ought to put a stop to corporate fraud real quick.
-- Brad Plumer 3:29 PM || ||