Saturday, June 9, 2012

If corporations are people why can't all stockholders be charged criminally when they break the law?

by sd1717

I've had this thought about Citizens United recently. If anyone really wants to change this law a constitutional amendment would need to pass, as it is a very rare occurrence that the supreme court overturns their own verdict, at least in the same generation.
So, the arguement was made that corporations are people, or at least protected under the constitution as though they are. I know that stock holders are contractually protected from legal reprucusions based on their ownership. However, if a criminal act, as in someone commits an actual crime as a representative of an organization, then could all board members be considered to have committed a crime? Even further, as owners couldn't stock holders also be charged?
I think the contractual law would protect them in the case of civil law. But criminal law supersedes contractual law.
Another option, if someone representing a corp commits a criminal act while representing the corp couldn't a corp be "put in jail" or shut down for a set amount of time. I think a state could pass a law that effectively did this and based on the citizens united decision it would stand up to the judgement given in Citizens United.
Being a fully fledged human has some disadvantages that corps don't normally have to deal with, there has to be some of these that should be thrust upon corps due to this decision giving them "human" status under the should be a two edged sword.

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