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The U.S. Department of Justice is under fire for failing to prosecute banks that caused the 2008 economic meltdown because they are too big to jail. Prosecutors have long neglected to hold corporate executives accountable for chronic mistakes that kill and injure workers and customers. This book, the first of its kind, analyzes five industrial catastrophes that have killed or sickened consumers and workers or caused irrevocable harm to the environment. From the Texas City refinery explosion to the Upper Big Branch mine collapse to the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and extending to incidents of food and drug contamination that have killed or injured hundreds, the root causes of these preventable disasters include crimes of commission and omission. Although federal prosecutors have made a start on holding low-level managers liable, far more aggressive prosecution is appropriate as a matter of law, policy, and justice. Written in accessible and jargon-free language, this book recommends innovative interpretations of existing laws to elevate the prosecution of white-collar crime at the federal and state levels.Read more
- Written in plain English, so that any reader without a law degree could understand the events, policies, and limits of the law that it addresses
- Each of the five industrial catastrophes that are addressed in the book - especially the Deepwater Horizon disaster - dominated the headlines for months
- The book dissects the causes of these incidents in a clear and concise manner, and those analyses will be shocking to most readers who heard about their aftermath but did not realize the extent of malfeasance that produced them
- Students and practitioners in the field of criminology, as well as lawyers and others involved in the criminal justice system, will find the book's treatment of industrial accidents and the dearth of prosecutions of those responsible for them both eye-opening and useful in their efforts to consider reform
- One of Corporate Crime Reporter's Top Ten Books of 2014
Reviews & endorsements
"Rena Steinzor’s powerful and compelling Why Not Jail? Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction argues for criminal prosecution of both corporations and corporate executives … The core of her book is a close examination of a series of disasters - the BP oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, the Massey mine collapse, the contaminated drugs from the New England Compounding Center - showing that while unintentional, each of these industrial catastrophes was the direct result of corporate malfeasance, exactly the circumstance that should be punished criminally."
Robert Weissman, Public Citizen News
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- Date Published: November 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107633940
- length: 294 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- contains: 2 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. The Status Quo:
1. Regulatory dysfunction
2. White-collar crime today
3. Cons and pros
Part II. The Lessons of Catastrophe:
4. Occupational disasters
5. Environmental disaster
6. Public health
Part III. Solutions:
7. A guilty mind
8. Deferred prosecution agreements.
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