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View Diary: Conservative Supremes thwart fair wages claim, and Kagan lets 'em have it. (166 comments)

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  •  But that sword would cut both ways... (0+ / 0-)

    ...if this was a criminal matter, the defendant must be "guilty beyond reasonable doubt", not merely liable by a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e., more likely liable than less likely liable).

    ...if this was a criminal matter, intent can be very important while in a civil case, the intent is generally much less important.

    ...if this was a criminal matter, only the government could prosecute it (on behalf of the people, not the individual victim) as such so if the DA or AG etc. decided not to prosecute due to other priorities or because the case wasn't quite strong enough, the matter is over.

    All of these factors make it much easier for a the "aggrieved party" to prevail in a civil case than a criminal case - to say nothing that criminal convictions don't necessarily result in an order of compensation to the victims (that's often left for, hang on, civil courts).

    Be careful what you wish for. Review the OJ Simpson cases to see the ease of getting a civil judgement vs the difficulty of getting a criminal conviction. (Albeit, in that criminal case, the prosecutor seemed hell bent on self destruction and Simpson could afford, with money and fame, a top notch legal team that most people couldn't assemble)

    •  Intent (0+ / 0-)

      here is very easy to prove, given the company was doing this to other people. But that is besides the points, people (to be more exact, real people) get the book thrown at them with much weaker evidence in more dubious circumstances.

      •  In this particular case... (0+ / 0-)

        ...had the act been made a crime, yes, some number of people from the immediate supervisor all the way up to the CFO might have been convicted (likely, the supervisor would be offered a suspended sentence or parole in exchange for his/her testimony as part of a plea deal).

        However, in many cases that have resulted in positive outcomes for the employees via administrative and civil actions would not have resulted in a criminal prosecution, let alone a conviction.

        As well, it seems unlikely a bill making actions such as this a Federal crime would have ever gotten passed by any combination of House, Senate, and Administration in my lifetime so it's a moot point. Too many small and large businesses alike would fight it and they are a powerful lobby. Such laws would also encourage offshoring just to avoid the risk of a minor violation resulting in jail time for the CEO (the Feds like to make examples out of people here and there - remember Martha Stewart?).

        •  Well yeah what you said is true, (0+ / 0-)

          some people, like Martha Stewart are made examples of. However, this is typically when it becomes politically necessary to do so, when it can't be ignored. When it can be ignored it is.

          When it comes to everyday folk, particularly when they are exercising their first amendment rights against powerful business interests, they get hit with the book. Charges are tacked on, usually whatever the prosecutor can squint to make at all seem relevant is added to the charges.

          •  Anyways, (0+ / 0-)

            this is all besides the point. The fact of the matter is that what the company did to that worker is theft, as much theft as me picking someone's pocket. I know no one in the company will be prosecuted, nor am I suggesting we completely revamp our civil and criminal justice systems (save for changing the way the hammer is always brought down on regular folk while the crimes of the powerful are ignored), but all of that does not change the fact that what that company did and continues to do is theft.

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