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Structural Reform Prosecution

105 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2006  

Brandon L. Garrett

University of Virginia School of Law

Abstract

In what I call a structural reform prosecution, prosecutors secure the cooperation of an organization in adopting internal reforms. No scholars have considered the problem of prosecutors seeking structural reform remedies, perhaps because until recently organizational prosecutions were themselves infrequent. In the past few years, however, federal prosecutors adopted a bold new prosecutorial strategy under which dozens of leading corporations entered into demanding settlements, including AIG, American Online, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Computer Associates, HealthSouth, KPMG, MCI, Merrill Lynch & Co, Monsanto, and Time Warner. To situate the DOJ's latest strategy, I frame alternatives to the pursuit of structural reform remedies as well as five alternative ways prosecutors can pursue structural reforms. To better understand what the DOJ accomplished by choosing to pursue structural reform and then doing so at the charging stage, I conducted an empirical study of the terms in all agreements the DOJ has negotiated to date. My study reveals imposition of deep governance reforms, consistent with the purposes of the Sentencing Guidelines, but also perceived prosecutorial abuses and some potential for overreaching. I conclude that given the breadth of prosecutorial discretion and the deferential, limited nature of judicial review, the guidance that the DOJ provides will chiefly define the future development of its emerging structural regime for deterring organizational crime.

Suggested Citation

Garrett, Brandon L., Structural Reform Prosecution. Virginia Law Review, Vol. 93, June 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=930240

Brandon Garrett (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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