With many corporate guilty pleas that have been exposed in the news, these pleas of guilty are few in the vast number of corporate enterprises that currently exist worldwide. Despite many guilty pleas that have been given, there still exists many non-prosecution agreements that have been deferred. As a corporate partner in New York City, Debevoise Partner, Sean Hecker believes that this is exactly how it should be. In a recent interview with Corporate Crime Reporter, Mr. Hecker believes that prosecution should have a chance to be negotiated on both sides to be able to get around the negative consequences that can often be applied. The end is a subtly negotiated resolution between both of the parties involved.
For many corporations, the guilty plea is often too black and white and too blunt. A guilty plea often never involves the common interest that the shareholders also have with the cases. In addition to this, guilty pleas also never take into account the invested interest of both the public as well as the employees. As Mr. Hecker states, it is often desired that corporations should have the power to fight back or negotiate rather than being handed to the sword by the government. For any case that must be taken to court, Hecker also states that it should always be up to the jury and not to the government on whether or not the corporation is guilty in their actions.
An example of the waning and impractical power of the Justice Department is from the 2008 financial crisis that exposed many banks and businesses as crooks. The Justice Department received much criticism for failing to bring the big banks as well as the executives to justice for acting in fraudulent activity. Though the executives of banks and major corporations may have been guilty, there was a lack of evidence for persecution.
Mr. Hecker of a prominent law firm in New York City brings up a valid point that many cases that are brought up that prosecute senior executives within industry are also looking for career boosting opportunities. Despite evidence, many prosecutions do take place and force executives to plead guilty. With this in mind, Hecker argues that those who plead guilty should have the right to later negotiate between the two parties. The guilty plea of individuals always lacks the influence of the public as well as the employees.