Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Richard Epstein Blasts Thompson Memorandum

Today in a searing WSJ op-ed, Chicago law professor Richard Epstein takes aim at deferred prosecution agreements. He blasts the Thompson Memorandum, the 2003 Justice Department policy statement that laid out guidelines for prosecuting corporations. “The Thompson memorandum insisted that corporations receive a temporary reprieve only if they purge themselves of individual wrongdoers and agree to extensive government oversight to make them walk the straight and narrow path.”
He mocks the deferred-prosecution agreement the feds struck with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which was accused of inflating its revenues. New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie went too far, says Epstein. “The most striking evidence of the abuse of power is paragraph 20 of the agreement, which requires BMS to ‘endow a chair at Seton Hall University School of Law,’ Mr. Christie’s alma mater, for teaching business ethics, a course that he himself could stand to take.”

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