David Koch on Crime



Fight systemic overcriminalization and overincarceration

The Koch brothers have advocated reform of the United States' criminal justice system. In 2011, Koch Industries received a "Defender of Justice award" from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of their financial support for providing low-income defendants with competent legal representation.

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.

Source: Wikipedia article: Political activities of the Koch brothers , Dec 22, 2017

End asset forfeiture by law enforcement

In 2015, the Kochs partnered with left-leaning groups to promote reforms to reduce incarceration. The Kochs aligned with President Obama in heading criminal justice reform, citing poor conditions and an outdated system. In addition to the president, the Kochs have partnered with groups such as the ACLU, the Center for American Progress, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the Coalition for Public Safety, and the MacArthur Foundation.

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.

Source: Wikipedia article: Political activities of the Koch brothers , Dec 22, 2017

Require criminal intent for prosecuting white-collar crimes

Among the reforms are a push for further Mens rea requirements, meaning criminal intent must be proven to establish fault. ["Mens rea" is Latin for "guilty mind," and means that criminal intent matters, rather than just the criminal action itself].

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].

Source: Wikipedia article: Political activities of the Koch brothers , Dec 22, 2017

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Page last updated: Oct 26, 2021