The Case for the Corporate Death Penalty

Professors Mary Kreiner Ramirez and Steven Ramirez discussed their recent book, The Case for the Corporate Death Penalty, at Washburn Law on Monday, April 10, 2017. Steven Ramirez began the Lunch and Learn with a description of how the rule of law broke down after the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The rule of law means that everyone is accountable for the harm they inflict on society. The financial collapse was caused by widespread securities and bank fraud, causing harm to society for which the United States and its citizens are still paying the price.

Mary Ramirez then argued that various laws were available to prosecutors, but there is no evidence that the government attempted to prosecute. Because of the government's failure to enforce the laws, individuals at the upper echelon of the financial sector perceive that they can proceed without concern for personal accountability. Thus, a culture is created encouraging lawlessness at all levels of organizations. The authors concluded that criminal cases should be brought to find out for certain who committed the fraud and to re-impose law and order on Wall Street.

Photograph: Mary Kreiner Ramirez and Steven Ramirez.