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Criminal Liability for Corporations That Kill

NCJ Number
Tulane Law Review Volume: 64 Issue: 4 Dated: (March 1990) Pages: 919-948
D J Miester Jr
Date Published
30 pages
Although much progress has been made towards holding corporations liable for the homicides they cause, no consensus exists regarding the most appropriate penalty to deter corporate homicides.
Corporate homicides result from dangerous products, violations of safety laws, and environmental pollutants with dangerous products alone causing at least 28,000 deaths and 130,000 serious injuries each year. Previous rigid notions of corporate criminality have been replaced by a trend toward holding corporations liable for negligent and reckless homicide, based on a balancing of a product's risk and its utility. However, states currently lack special corporate homicide laws, and the inability to jail a corporation makes a fine the only available sanction. More promising possibilities include equity fining, adverse publicity, and facilitation of victim compensation. 175 footnotes