Should lack of intent mean no charges or jail?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Clementine, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Clementine
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    Clementine Platinum Member Supporting Member

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    It worked for Hillary but, apparently, real people can't get away with it.

    In this case, the people going to jail were not directly responsible for the screw up nor were they aware of the problem. But, since they were in charge and responsible for providing oversight to ensure that the law regarding safety measures were upheld, the father and son have to spend 3 months in jail.

    Compare this to Hillary, who also was also in charge of upholding safety measures but made a conscious decision to break them. In that case, a supposed lack of intent was the only thing preventing charges from being pressed. And the consequences could have jeopardized the entire country. She is just too fucking stupid to know that, if you believe her.

    So, lawyers in this latest case argued that it was unfair because the corporate officials had no intent to harm anyone. They had no idea that subordinates were not following the proper procedure. While inspections are necessary to ensure quality control, it's impossible to do that every day. So, the guys at the top are facing jail because lower level employees dropped the ball. Not like the officials set up an insufficient quality control division in their bathroom.

    In the end, it's clear that the "lack of intent" defense only applies to a Clinton, no matter how serious the crime.

    "The U.S. Supreme Court declined in May to hear the appeals of Austin "Jack" DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, without comment. Both have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett to serve three months in prison. The sentences jarred the food and drug manufacturing industry because it's rare that corporate officials are held personally responsible for an outbreak of foodborne illness.

    Business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the libertarian Cato Institute think tank filed friend-of-the-court briefs backing the DeCosters' appeal of their sentences. The groups argued that it is unfair to send corporate executives to prison for violations that they were either unaware of or that were committed by subordinates. The groups said it's highly unusual to attach a criminal penalty and prison time to executives when there is no proof of intention or knowledge of wrongdoing.

    "This sanction will slow business growth and innovation," said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute.

    Bennett in his 68-page sentencing opinion filed in April 2015 concluded that prison time was necessary to deter officials from marketing unsafe food.

    "Given the defendants' careless oversight and repeated violations of safety standards, there is an increased likelihood that these offenses, or offenses like these, could happen again," he wrote. "The punishment will also serve to effectively deter against the marketing of unsafe foods and widespread harm to public health by similarly situated corporate officials and other executives in the industry."

    Egg executives in salmonella case must report to prison
     
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  2. jasonnfree
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    jasonnfree Gold Member

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    Still, a lot of people in the future my use clinton as precedent to get out of jail. "But, your honor, I didn't know the gun was loaded, and had no intention of harming anyone".
     
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  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.'
    Orwell
     
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  4. Clementine
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    Clementine Platinum Member Supporting Member

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    It'll be like the 'affluence' defense, only reserved for the privileged few.

    Personally, I think it sucks that the Clintons and their ilk constantly rely on their elite liberal privilege cards. It's far worse than white privilege. Being white isn't a choice. Being corrupt is totally within one's control.

    Of course, more people will start using the "I don't recall" defense. That has proven quite effective for Hillary for decades.
     
  5. Timmy
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    Timmy Gold Member

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    They SHOULD HAVE KNOWN what their subordinates were up too .

    Hillary didn't even commit a crime . Unless you want to stretch that espionage law.
     
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  6. washamericom
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    washamericom Gold Member

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    and i think nancy pelosi, reid, obama et. al, wanted jail time for not buying health insurance. that's where they were headed.
     
  7. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    That depends on the role of intent stipulated in the statue one is alleged to have violated.
    Note:
    Of the references above, I suggest reading one of the first two and the last two, but if you're a somewhat indolent reader, the third and last two are what you'll prefer.​


    There are few if any criminal law principles more important than intent. Because we grant the government authority to take away our liberties if we do an act (or, in some instances, fail to act) defined by law as a crime, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that we knew what we were doing and that what we were doing was unlawful. Too often, federal and state prosecutors chafe against this need to establish that an individual or an organization intended to commit a crime.

    It’s not surprising, then, that prosecutors, with assistance from legislatures, have been working to erode the basic principle of intent. After all, it's hard as a prosecutor and lawmaker to show demonstrably that one's making a positive difference when it's harder to get a conviction rather than than easier to do so. (One will find a wealth of examples of this in here: Special Report: The Federal Erosion of Business Civil Liberties.) A National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Heritage Foundation study, “Without Intent," found a pattern of Congress reducing the level of intent that need be proven for a federal crime, in some instances down to simple negligence or strict liability.

    The judicial branch is a criminal defendant’s last line of protection against the erosion of criminal intent. Case in point, in US v Lauren Stevens, a Judge Titus threw out an indictment against a former drug company in-house lawyer who allegedly violated federal law by facilitating the “marketing” of a drug for an off-label use. According to Titus’ ruling memo, during the grand jury proceedings, one prosecutor misstated the law with regard to the advice that the defendant may have received from other lawyers about the off-label communications, while another prosecutor flatly told the jury the issue was irrelevant to their deliberations. Quite to the contrary, Judge Titus wrote, “advice of counsel” is not only an affirmative defense, “but rather negates the wrongful intent required to commit the crimes charged.” Whether the prosecutors were, as the defense counsel in the case alleges, intentionally misstating the law, or were just negligent in doing so was not clear. Judge Titus jettisoned the charges on that basis, though he did allow the government to seek a new indictment.


    The concept of intent shouldn't be hard for laymen to understand. We have daily instances whereby one does a wrong to another and utters "I was just trying to do 'such and such.' I didn't mean to....." The offender's absence of a "guilty mind" is exculpatory. That's the principle of intent and its applicability rightly remains steadfast no matter the gravamen. [1] Yet when it comes to matters pertaining to alleged offenses by public figures, particularly ones whom an individual abhors, the rhetoric one hears from many in the general public would lead one to think the notion of intent is to them more obscure than Titus Andronicus.


    Note:
    1. No principle will always call for action that's to one's liking, yet to be a person of principle, one must yet adhere to it even when one doesn't especially like the outcome doing so yields. That is why it's essential to carefully form/choose one's principles; one should adopt principles that though one may not like the outcome of doing so, one can at least reconcile and abide those occasional distasteful outcomes. People who are unprincipled are they whose principles are in fact a superficial coating they animate to serve whatever procrustean formulation to justify opportunely the sanctimonious end they seek. In short, they choose their principles "as the crow flies."
     
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  8. jknowgood
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    jknowgood Platinum Member

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    I had no intent in robbing the bank, it just happened.
     
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  9. usmbguest5318
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    usmbguest5318 Gold Member

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    Nothing of the sort is so. Hillary Clinton's attorneys didn't submit motions for dismissal on the grounds of her lacking intent. When the lack of intent "works," it's because the verity of that critical element's absence is argued by the defense attorney(s). When the state fails to indict because it knows/thinks it cannot, given the gravamen, prove intent, there is no basis for one to say "intent worked" for the would-be defendant. Indeed intent does not ever "work"for anyone. It is a principle not an action or object that can take action.


    You write that "real people can't get away with it." Given that you've entreated for a discussion about the law, interpretations and applications of it, WTF is that supposed to mean? In the context of legal and investigative proceedings, all living people are real and nobody "gets away with" anything -- one is either found guilty or not guilty, or one's case is dismissed, or no indictment happens, or the charges dropped. "Getting away with" something is what happens when nobody discerns that one is the perpetrator of a given act for which one might, were one's role discovered, pay a penalty. Do you want to have an adult discussion about legal theory and practice or do you want merely to spew rhetoric? If the former, would you please identify specifically and precisely what individuals or class thereof you mean?
     
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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  10. Timmy
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    Timmy Gold Member

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    Prime example . Drunk driving .

    The driver doesn't intend to kill someone . It's still manslaughter.
     

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