Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Happened to the Perp Walk?

It used to be that prosecutors were dead set on making someone take the "perp walk."  This occurred when an individual was arrested by the authorities and taken outside to a giant crowd of reporters, all of whom snapped pictures and shouted questions.  The prosecutors would then issue press releases about the trial's progress, eventually leading to a criminal sentence where somebody important would end up going to jail.

Now we learn that BP has paid a $4.5 billion dollar fine as part of the Gulf of Mexico oil fire and that JP Morgan is in talks to settle all its outstanding issues for $11 billion.  This is in addition to JPM's $5.3 billion in fines already paid.  The size of these fines means there's a ton of provable fraud going on. 

Here's the problem: paying a fine -- while high -- is now becoming a simple cost of doing business.  Until important people start going to jail for meaningful amounts of time, we will continue to see criminal behavior.

It's time for the US attorneys office to grow a pair and start sending important people to jail.