NOTE: CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS AS A CONDITION OF FEDERAL PROBATION FOR CORPORATE DEFENDANTS: A CONTROVERSIAL SANCTION UNDER NEW LAW Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1985 Notre Dame Law Review
University of Notre Dame

NOTE: CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS AS A CONDITION OF FEDERAL PROBATION FOR CORPORATE DEFENDANTS: A CONTROVERSIAL SANCTION UNDER NEW LAW

1985

60 Notre Dame L. Rev. 530

Author

Mary Lou Howard

Excerpt

Corporate criminal defendants 1 pose unique sentencing problems. 2 Courts and commentators have struggled with sentencing these statutory entities that have "no soul to damn, no body to kick." 3 Traditionally, courts have imposed fines, 4 but this has been criticized as ineffective. 5 When the fine is less than the revenue gained from the criminal violation, a corporation may regard it as a cost of doing business. 6 When the fine is large enough to hurt, a corporation may pass it on to shareholders by reducing dividends or to consumers by increasing prices. 7

Seeking alternative corporate sanctions, courts turned to probation. 8 While probation has gained acceptance as a corporate sanction, imposing charitable contributions 9 as a condition of that probation has sparked debate. 10 Can federal courts legally impose charitable contributions as a condition of probation for corporate defendants? If so, are there cases in which this may be a particularly appropriate sanction? Consider the hypothetical case of Conglomerate Corporation.

Conglomerate Corporation has been convicted of violating both the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Clean Air Act. Evidence at trial showed that the Foods Division of Conglomerate Corporation had used a compound to create a glittery surface on its star-shaped breakfast cereal in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This compound had been used for two years to increase the product's appeal among its target market: children between the ages of three and thirteen. Further evidence revealed ...
 
 
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