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Ignorance of the Law Shouldn’t Be a Defense for Corporate Criminals

Public Citizen President Robert Weissman Testifies at Senate Hearing on Criminal Justice Reform

WASHINGTON - Public Citizen President Robert Weissman testified today before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on criminal justice reform. At the hearing, titled “The Adequacy of Criminal Intent Standards in Federal Prosecutions,” Weissman explained that Congress deserves praise for tackling the problems of over-criminalization and over-incarceration.

But Weissman called attention to the corporate interests that are attempting to add measures to the criminal justice reform legislation, which would make it much harder to prosecute companies and executives that swindle the public, endanger their workers, poison the environment or otherwise threaten consumers. Weissman argued that the otherwise laudable criminal justice reform bill should not contain any measure to weaken our nation’s already feeble standards for corporate criminal prosecution.

Read the testimony (PDF).


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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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