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View Diary: BP Wins Again; & Courts Are Willing Partners (19 comments)

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  •  Most if not all counts got the maximum sentence. (4+ / 0-)

    I hope the statutory penalties will be increased for future events (though with congressmen apologizing to BP for all the trouble, I'm not optimistic), but neither DOJ nor the judge could do so on their own say-so. I don't know enough about the recovery/restitution aspects of it to say whether the judge could have reasonably rejected the deal to get that higher, but she knows this is a long way from over and there are billions yet to be assessed and paid.  

    As for the 11 lives, remember that charges against 2 individuals for manslaughter and other offenses are still being pursued.  BP's agreement acknowledges that the negligence of these individual defendants caused the deaths, so they've got a tough row to hoe. Nothing's enough if you're the surviving families, but I wouldn't want to be those guys.

    And, as you note, civil litigation is far from over.

    •  "these individual defendants" took the rap (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phil S 33, shanesnana

      for a very corrupt corporate culture protecting the big boys at the top.

      This deal sucks and no amount of rationalization can change that.

      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

      by rubyr on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:26:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can you elaborate on what the judge (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shanesnana, leu2500

        should have done? Her option was to accept the deal or reject it.

        If one wants to argue that the case was undercharged, that's quite a different issue and I might well agree, given access to all the facts. But it's an issue that does not implicate the judge as a "willing partner" (in the words of the diary) -- only the executive branch.

        •  Judges CAN exert pressure...simply by indicating (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Villanova Rhodes

          an unwillingness to accept some of the terms...
          I think too often, they are pushed to accept what appears finish the case.

          •  OK. So you're arguing that Judge Vance (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shanesnana, leu2500

            should have rejected the plea and substituted her judgment for the DOJ's about what the gov't could get. What should she have held out for? I assume you agree that she couldn't insist they settle for punishments beyond the statutory maximum for any count (do you?) so any change would have to be to the restitution ordered or some other non-fixed part of the agreement. If you were the judge, what would you have demanded as the price for approving the plea?

            Remember that the alternative -- going to trial -- carries the risk of acquittal on some or all charges, enormous expense, and potentially decades of appeals that could result in reversal or a gutted judgment as in Exxon. Weighing that against the current plea -- and a bunch of money going to the gulf states & others in 60 days -- and keeping in mind that there are multiple pending actions against the same pot of money, what's your recommendation? (I'm serious, not arguing.)

            Again, we are not talking about whether more or different charges should have been brought -- for purposes of assessing Judge Vance's action, that's irrelevant.

            •  My essential argument/position is: too often the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Villanova Rhodes

              the gov't pushes forth a deal; and too often judges don't push back.
              I may not have put enough onus on the gov't in my title and/or diary; but we have let BP off the hook---and have for too long.  

              And, I also recognize that more is yet to come---but I have little faith that in the end, BP will end up with much more than a bump in the road...

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