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MEDIA ALERT: Ignorance of the Law Shouldn’t Be a Defense for Corporate Criminals

Jan. 19, 2016

MEDIA ALERT: Ignorance of the Law Shouldn’t Be a Defense for Corporate Criminals

Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, to Testify at Senate Hearing on Criminal Justice Reform

WHAT: Public Citizen President Robert Weissman will testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on criminal justice reform. At the hearing, titled “The Adequacy of Criminal Intent Standards in Federal Prosecutions,” Weissman will explain that Congress deserves praise for tackling the problems of over-criminalization and over-incarceration. But it appears that corporate interests are attempting to add measures to the reform legislation that would make it much harder to prosecute companies and executives that swindle the public, endanger their workers, poison the environment or otherwise threaten consumers. These measures challenge a basic precept of our laws – that ignorance of the law is no defense – and would offer corporations and their executives an “ignorance of the law” defense.

Weissman will argue that the otherwise laudable criminal justice reform bill should not contain any measure to weaken our nation’s already feeble standards for corporate criminal prosecution.

WHEN: 10 a.m. EST, Wed., Jan. 20

WHO: Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen
Edwin Meese III, 75th U.S. attorney general
Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general, U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division
Professor Stephen A. Saltzburg, American Bar Association

WHERE: Room 226, Dirksen Senate Office Building, 100 Constitution Ave. NE, Washington, D.C.