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Death penalty for Miami Hurricanes? How about the death penalty for corporations who kill?

USA Today has the story about violations at The Miami Hurricanes, and how the NCAA has a “death penalty” provision for teams who engage in egregious ethics violations. That is probably a good policy.

But, what about having a death penalty for other entities, such as corporations who are involved in ethics violations, or worse, human injury or human deaths? Who is listening to the call for a death penalty for corporations? Shouldn’t BP be held accountable for the workers who died in their big accident, and the people in the Gulf who suffer from the environmental disaster they created? Shouldn’t Ford and Firestone have been held accountable for the deaths caused by their faulty car products? (See, “Why Is Killing For Capital Not A Capital Crime” at Reclaim Democracy.org)

Some bloggers, web commenters, and other activists have seen the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision as a way to create a death penalty for corporations. If these companies are “people” in such a way that they are entitled to Free Speech, perhaps they should be “people” in such a way that if they are responsible for  murder, they should get the death penalty (or, be dissolved)?

If Americans care enough about the integrity of college football to ask for a death penalty for bad teams, why can’t we muster up the energy to demand the death penalty for corporations who are killing us?

Below is an excerpt from the Miami Hurricanes death penalty story at USA Today. Note how some of the similar principles could be applied to US corporations:

Booster allegations start talk of 'death penalty' for Miami
By Erik Brady and Steve Wieberg, USA TODAY

Might the NCAA give University of Miami football the "death penalty"?

That long-dormant question arose anew Wednesday, a day after Yahoo Sports reported that Nevin Shapiro, a convicted Ponzi schemer and ex-Miami booster, said he showered Hurricanes players with money, gifts and sex parties for eight years.
In unofficial NCAA terms, the death penalty means closing a program for a season or more. It typically requires a second major violation within five years but can be imposed with no prior sanctions in particularly egregious cases.

Repeat offender Southern Methodist University's program was shut down for two seasons in the 1980s, the only death-penalty case in major college football history...

NCAA Presiden Mark Emmert said, "...We need to have penalties that serve as effective deterrents so that people who are doing the calculation in their head (as to) whether or not the risks and rewards line up … recognize the price of being caught."...

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