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If you insist that corporations are people, how do you explain BP's $4 billion fine for the deaths of 11 oil rig workers ("Judge Accepts BP's Plea to Manslaughter in 2010 Spill," Jan. 30)? The federal sentencing guideline for manslaughter is a minimum of one year in prison for each count. So, if corporations are people, shouldn't the board of directors, executives and 83,000 BP employees be spending the next 11 years in federal prison?
If you believe in corporate personhood, why was BP, the person, permitted to buy its way out of prison for these violent crimes, when other criminals cannot? BP's fine represents about 1 percent of its annual revenue. I'll bet every violent criminal in prison would jump at the chance to be set free in exchange for 1 percent of his annual income, and every man who commits manslaughter would gladly pay this fine to avoid prison.
What's the lesson? If corporations are people, they are a very privileged class of people. So, if you intend to kill someone, incorporate first.
Upper St. Clair
First Published February 3, 2013 12:00 am