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Sympathy for the Devil

April 26th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The New York Times and local newspaper feel a Corporate Criminal’s painNo “Three Strikes You’re Out” or Harsh Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Corporate crime
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy,
Have some sympathy, and some taste.
Use all your well-learned politesse,
Or I’ll lay your soul to waste.

~~~ Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the Devil” (1968)
The New York Times does a good Mick Jagger in a recent story about corporate criminal McWane, Inc.:

Atlantic States Pipe foundry, Phillipsburg, NJ

“Addressing Judge Cooper, McWane’s president, G. Ruffner Page, expressed regret for the McWane employees who had been injured or killed, and for the communities whose air and water were fouled by the company.
“This experience has been extremely painful for this company, and for me personally,” he said. “All of us are deeply sorry.”
“Mr. Page told Judge Cooper that the publicity and prosecutions prompted intense soul-searching among McWane’s senior executives. He said the company redoubled its efforts to improve its record, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on improvements, hiring dozens of new safety and environmental managers and, in time, replacing more than 90 percent of the company’s top management.
Iron Pipe Maker Is Fined $8 Million for Violations
The local rag was even more sympathetic in its coverage, as was the sentencing judge, who apparently left his hanging robes at home:
“Suspended Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Co. supervisor Craig Davidson drew a relatively short six-month federal prison sentence Thursday, after the judge described him as an extraordinarily giving man.
Davidson, 44, of Lower Nazareth Township, faced a prison term ranging from 30 to 37 months under federal sentencing guidelines.
U.S. District Court Judge Mary L. Cooper opted for a fraction of that. She based her decision on Davidson’s lifelong history of helping others, his acquittals on numerous counts brought by the government, a lack of “quality evidence” against Davidson and his lack of a criminal history.
He is a devoted family man” said the judge, also describing Davidson as someone who loved and respected the environment.[…]
Davidson addressed the court from a podium before his sentencing and repeatedly broke down in tears. About 100 supporters showed up in the fifth-floor courtroom of the federal courthouse. Court attendants brought in folding chairs to accommodate the overflow crowd.

Former Atlantic States finishing department superintendent draws six-month prison sentence
So, let’s take a look at the operations of these corporate executives who the newspapers and judge feels “love and respect the environment” – comments in the captions:

McWane facility belches toxic pollution into the air of Phillipsburg, NJ
The McWane foundry is right on top of a residential neighborhood it pollutes
Booms on the Delaware River try to trap some of the illegal toxic water pollution discharges from the foundry
Toxic chemicals are shipped to and from the foundry, and stored on site
“Family liquor stores”, bars, and toxic air pollution assault local residents
The company abuses its workers and benefits from high unemployment and desperation
  1. plebeyo
    April 27th, 2009 at 08:22 | #1

    Hell will be paved with greedy slave merchants, plantation owners, sweatshop owners, corporate executives, bankers, etc., who have exploited millions of human beings in their crusade to hoard riches

  2. New2Newark
    April 27th, 2009 at 10:07 | #2

    Society sees these folks differently but I think that it’s changing.
    The low-life that robs a liquor store has a brand position (scum, criminal, morally inferior, deadbeat, dregs of the earth) in the minds of most but the high level executive is somehow exalted. I think its because some consider these demons to be better than themselves. Better in terms of money, aspirations, and standard of living. My finance professor would joke “if you are going to steal be sure to steal big to lighten the punishment”. Is this not the same?
    6 months for a crime that can negatively affect an entire town or state! I will remember that the next time I see an urbanite going to jail for selling a bag of funny flower.

  1. August 23rd, 2019 at 13:17 | #1
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