Join Occupy the SEC in Urging the Congress to Oppose H.R. 4002 ("Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015")

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PETITION TO OPPOSE H.R.4002 (Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015)

As your constituent, I am requesting that you OPPOSE H.R. 4002 (The Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015).

Congress is currently considering several bills that would overhaul and improve our criminal justice system by reducing mandatory minimum sentences and promoting rehabilitation instead of punishment. The push for criminal justice reform enjoys both bipartisan support and popular support among the American populace.

Unfortunately, the Koch Brothers and their cronies are trying to latch onto this momentum for their own purposes. The House is currently considering the Koch-backed H.R. 4002 (sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R-WI-5]), a bill that which would serve as a Get Out of Jail Free card for white collar criminals.

The bill would require federal prosecutors to prove that a white collar defendant acted with intent in cases where federal law does not currently specify a required mental state. This means that white collar criminals would be able to evade punishment for a host of crimes, EVEN IF they acted with negligence, gross negligence, or recklessness.

Federal prosecutors already face grave difficulty is proving intent for corporate misdeeds because culpable criminal conduct is often hidden deep within the corporate veil, underneath layers of management, boards and bureaucracy. The Great Recession of 2008 is a telling example of federal prosecutors' inability to punish corporate wrongdoing. Malfeasance on Wall Street produced a financial crisis that extinguished nearly 40% of family wealth from 2007 to 2010, pushing the household net worth back to 1992 levels. Despite these appalling statistics, not even ONE executive at a major Wall Street bank was criminally charged for playing a role in the 2008 global financial collapse. Everyday Americans were forced to pay the price for rampant speculation, mismanagement and fraud on Wall Street.

H.R. 4002 would make it even more difficult for prosecutors to punish white collar crime. And criminals would be emboldened to take further advantage of shareholders, employees, consumers, and the public.

Even the Department of Justice, which has been notoriously lax in prosecuting white collar criminals, has lambasted H.R. 4002, observing that the bill would weaken countless federal statutes that currently protect the public from dangers like unsafe food and medicine.

We need you to stand in favor of the American people not corporate America. Please oppose H.R. 4002.

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The section in question (see below) is a clear attempt to force the federal government to apply mens rea to white collar criminal proceedings. Who in their right mind would say they knew what they were doing was illegal, but they did it anyway?

§ 11. Default state of mind proof requirement in Federal criminal cases

“If no state of mind is required by law for a Federal criminal offense—

“(1) the state of mind the Government must prove is knowing; and

“(2) if the offense consists of conduct that a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would not know, or would not have reason to believe, was unlawful, the Government must prove that the defendant knew, or had reason to believe, the conduct was unlawful.
Most perps do not realize they are committing crimes and probably lie to law enforcement when asked if they knew if they were committing a crime. Law enforcement MUST enforce the law.
Do NOT allow this. People intentionally structure involvement so that they are not directly culpable, even when they consciously know, and my be the author of the activities through another vehicle. Do not allow this legal protection for that type of behavior.
any legislation that the Koch brothers endorse will not have a positive outcome for average working Americans. I oppose this and any legislation that doesn't improve the life, liberty or freedom and pursuit of happiness for Americans, not corporate entities and others like the Koch brothers who only seek to increase their own wealth.
The bill should be renamed: Affluenza Amnesty for Entitlement Mentality, White Collar Criminals. These inclusions are an admission of guilt for the Koch's, Manhattan Institute & Heritage Foundation. If they have not committed any crimes than, they should have nothing to worry about. I believe it was that exact rationale that explained the necessity of putting cameras everywhere in public spaces. A sincere thank you to the Koch's, Manhattan Institute and Heritage Foundation for giving my republican partner one more reason to vote DEMOCRAT in 2016. The fact that they have gone through the trouble of being involved in this bill at all, is like an upfront admission of guilt. Suckers!
No leniency for 'non-violent' crimes - only for victimless crimes. White collar fraud is not victimless - with or without intent to harm.