Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America's Corporate Age

W.W. Norton & Co. (2016)

13 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2016

Date Written: September 16, 2016


Capital Offenses is a book-length treatment of the phenomenon of corporate crime in twenty-first century America. This book covers corporate criminal liability; substantive white collar crimes including fraud, obstruction of justice, and bribery; and the institutions of prosecution, defense, and adjudication that manage a legal field that has grown over the last several decades to become an industry — in addition to discussing the political economy of corporate crime. It is the first to provide a comprehensive treatment of this subject accessible to scholars, practitioners, students, and the public alike. The book’s argument is that every facet of the law and practice of corporate crime supplies evidence of Americans’ dependence on, inability to control, and deep ambivalence about our largest corporations and capital markets. These conditions ensure that criminal law will fail to deliver what is asked of it in this sphere. The parade of corporate “scandals” of the last 30 years, and the growing obsession with prosecution as an antidote, point to the need for a deep and sustained conversation about the corporate form, the scale of corporate enterprise, and the basic rules of the regulatory road — a transitional conversation that must be more ambitious and constructive than the continuing push for more white collar imprisonment. A small excerpt of the book’s introductory material is reprinted here, with permission of the publisher W.W. Norton & Co.

Keywords: Corporate Crime, White Collar Crime, Criminal Law, Criminal Justice

Suggested Citation

Buell, Samuel W., Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America's Corporate Age (September 16, 2016). W.W. Norton & Co. (2016). Available at SSRN:

Samuel W. Buell (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7193 (Phone)

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