Why Are the Koch Brothers Advocating Change in Prison Sentencing? — To Protect Corporate Criminals
By Thom Hartmann
It looks like the Koch brothers have scammed us once again.
When news first came out that Charles and David Koch - the Koch brothers - were supporting criminal legal system reform efforts in Congress, many of us thought, "Wow, they're actually doing something good for once." And for good reason, too.
Criminal legal reform has, over the past few years, become one of the very few legitimately bipartisan issues in US politics, and given their public statements, it really looked like Kochs were joining that bipartisan consensus for all the right reasons.
Here, for example, is Charles Koch on a recent episode of "Morning Joe" talking about why we need to reform drug laws. Sounds pretty persuasive, right? Boy, were we naïve.
Charles and David Koch may very well want to change drug laws, but the idea that they're making this push for criminal legal reform out of the goodness of their own hearts appears to be totally and completely false. After all the publicity they've gotten from the media and the DC establishment, it now turns out that the Kochs appear to want to change sentencing laws to help protect potential white collar criminals like, well, themselves or their buddies.
As The New York Times reported, Koch Industries, backing as part of a package of criminal legal system reform legislation, a bill that would change the way the feds can use a legal doctrine known as "mens rea" in white collar cases. If the bill passes, white collar criminals could get away with breaking the law if they can simply say that they "didn't know" they or their business and colleagues were breaking the law when committing the crime in question.