I'm a little confused by the statement from military law expert Scott Horton, in which he says "the presumption in US law is that, with fairly rare exceptions, crimes are committed by natural persons, not by legal entities like corporations."
While this may be true, why did corporations, some years back, push for being able to be classified as persons, in order to be able to file lawsuits against people who "slander" them, as the US beef industry did when Oprah Winfrey said, during a TV show about mad cow disease, that she wouldn't eat another hamburger again? It seems corporations want to have things both ways--to have the "right" to file lawsuits, as a supposedly libeled "person," against real people, but to also have the "right" not to have lawsuits filed against corporations, because only their individual owners and employees can be prosecuted?
Besides, I've seen plenty of court case filings in which a company itself was held accountable, particularly in patent infringement cases, where if the company was found to have broken the law, the company's coffers were the source of the fines the company paid, not those of the individual owners, since it was presumed that those company coffers were owned in turn by the company's owners.
Aug 20 2009 - 3:38am