Corporate Capital Punishment
If you or I shoot somebody or cause somebody bodily harm,
we will be apprehended and brought before a magistrate.
If found guilty, we will be sentenced by the judge or jury.
If our crime is grave, we may be sentenced to death in some states.
Corporations are legal persons.
Yet, they cannot generally be sentenced to death.
They cannot even be sent to prison for life.
If a corporation's directors knew that all of the assets of their corporation
could be taken and sold,
that their corporate charter would be revoked
because of their reckless endangerment,
they might behave more like normal persons.
If they knew that the could lose everything
because of a bad business policy,
the board would be more careful in its decisions.
Whether we have a moral code that guides us or not,
You and I do not take chances that recklessly endanger the lives
of our neighbors in order to make more money
because we know we could be punished.
And we could be punished with more than a fine
that can be charged off against our bottom line.
We might find ourselves in jail or in the electric chair.
Twenty years ago, a corporation recklessly endangered thousands
of Indian citizens at Bhopal.
And 4,000 died that day. Another 16,000 have died since.
Over 150,000 Indians were affected negatively.
The corporation that recklessly endangered these lives
is no longer Union Carbide.
It is Dow Chemical.
It's as if Richard Speck changed his name to Bob Jones.
An alias does not make you not guilty.
As the song goes.
Judge, Judge, listen to me Judge,
Send them to the electric chair.