David Koch on Crime
The Kochs stepped up their work on the issue in 2015, partnering with left-leaning groups to promote reforms to reduce incarceration in the United States.
The Kochs, along with their partners, seek to aid those suffering from systemic overcriminalization and overincarceration, who are generally from low-income and minority communities. Another goal for the Kochs' criminal justice reforms is to reduce recidivism and diminish barriers faced by rehabilitated citizens seeking reintroduction into the work force and society.
The Kochs and the ACLU invested in putting an end to Asset forfeiture by law enforcement, which deprives persons of often the bulk of their private property.
In July 2015, after the rare show of bipartisanship, President Obama praised the Kochs' work on the issue. Although critics have called the announcement a public relations stunt on behalf of the Kochs in the midst of media attacks, several media outlets noted that Charles Koch had been making substantial donations for criminal justice reform for a decade before the news was made public.
The Justice Department noted that some white-collar crimes, including food safety violations and corporate pollution, would become more difficult to prosecute. However, the Justice Department has been accused of over-criminalizing persons who have committed minor infractions without intent or even knowledge of the law.
In essence, the reforms could potentially overturn Ignorantia juris non excusat statutes.["Ignorantia juris non excusat" is Latin for "ignorance of the law is no excuse," i.e. that the state must prove that criminal knew it was a criminal act. White-collar prosecution would be harder because the Justice Department would have to prove knowledge of the law as well as proving a criminal act].
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