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37 Alb. L. Rev. 61 (1972-1973)
The Criminal Responsibility of Corporate Officials for Pollution of the Environment

handle is hein.journals/albany37 and id is 71 raw text is: Comments
In 1307 an Englishman was put to death for violating a Royal
Proclamation on smoke abatement.' While no one in the United
States has gone so far as to advocate capital punishment for envir-
onmental offenders, it is not unrealistic to believe that as time grows
short for saving the habitability of our country, society will choose
more frequently to employ its ultimate legal weapon against pol-
luters-the criminal law. As a result, we may witness the anomalous
occurrence of conservative American businessmen, often critical of
the recent extension of criminal due process, arguing that they were
not properly advised of their Miranda2 rights.            Likewise, those
most radical in matters of environmental protection, normally de-
fenders of Miranda type decisions, may well be complaining about
coddling the environmental criminal.3
Today criminal sanctions are frequently provided for in environ-
mental legislation, but they are seldom        used.4   It is particularly
curious why the weight of the criminal sanction has not fallen upon
the individuals in control of one of our major environmental cul-
prits, the American corporation.5 The prosecution of corporate
1 Mix, The Misdemeanor Approach to Pollution Control, 10 ARIM. L. REV. 90 (1968).
2 Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).
s Kadish, Some Observations on the Use of Criminal Sanctions in Enforcing Economic
Regulations, 30 U. CHI. L. REv. 423, 424 (1963).
4 As to the use of the criminal sanction in public health offenses, including environmental
pollution, see F. GRAD, PUBLIC HEALTH LAW MANUAL, 156-60 (2d. ed. 1970). See also,
Morris, Environmental Problems and the Use of the Criminal Sanction, 7 LAND AND WATER
L. REv. 421, 427-29 (1972).
5 Industrial waste is our largest source of water pollution. Such discharges have
filled our waters with the equivalent of the untreated sewage of a nation of- 165 million
people. Nelson, The National Pollution Scandal, in ECOIGICAL CRisis at 145 (G. Love and
R. Love, eds., 1970). In addition, approximately 1/5 of our air pollution can be attributed
to industry. Behle, Industry-The Views of the Regulated, 10 ARiz. L. REv. 74 (1968).

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