Monday, February 2, 2015

Judge Rakoff and Professor Garrett on Deferred Prosecution Agreements

Deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) are now a common aspect of the corporate criminal enforcement landscape.  While DPAs do not result in a criminal conviction for the corporation, these types of agreements share many of the same characteristics as plea bargains.  In a recent article featured in the New York Review of Books, Judge Jed Rakoff discusses a recent book published by Professor Brandon Garrett entitled Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations.

From Judge Rakoff's review:
So-called “deferred prosecutions” were developed in the 1930s as a way of helping juvenile offenders. A juvenile who had been charged with a crime would agree with the prosecutor to have his prosecution deferred while he entered a program designed to rehabilitate such offenders. If he successfully completed the program and committed no other crime over the course of a year, the charge would then be dropped.

The analogy of a Fortune 500 company to a juvenile delinquent is, perhaps, less than obvious. Nonetheless, beginning in the early 1990s and with increasing frequency thereafter, federal prosecutors began entering into “deferred prosecution” agreements with major corporations and large financial institutions.
Read the entire book review here.

You can purchase a copy of Professor Garrett's excellent book here.

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