1. What if you were a judge passing sentences down to corporation or organizational defendants convicted of white-collar crime? What factors would you take into consideration when determining the fine assessed?
White-collar crimes include wage theft, fraud, embezzlement, and tax evasion, among many others (Balsmeier & Kelly, 2016). The offenders are mostly businessmen, politicians, doctors, and government employees. White-collar offenders often lead a healthy life and rarely see themselves as criminals. The public also perceives them as having high social status, thus becoming hard for them to be conceived as criminals. As a judge, I would consider various aspects such as being familiar with background information, the nature of the crime, violators’ full compliance report, the duration of the violation, and the seriousness of a breach. However, I have to be very careful as this is a technical subject and sometimes could lead to a wrongful conviction. As a judge, I believe that taking into account these factors and also by weighing the two sides of the story through evidence will be critical when determining their sentences.
To conclude the sentence, I need to take into account the serious nature of the incident and also align it with the requirements of the constitution. I understand that the interpretation of such crimes requires a good command of language and relativity to be able to formulate a ruling(Balsmeier & Kelly, 2016). For instance, if a definition is outdated, it would be misleading hence leading to wrong judgment. In white-collar, I am dealing with someone who has never committed an offense before and comes up with valid evidence that he or she is innocent. Consequently, this means that making the decision would be tough. Therefore, I would also look at the seriousness of the offense and whether the corporation has a previous record of violation since most of the corporations tend not complying taxes through bribery. Since prison does not work well with such offenses, I would consider deterrence.
3. Is house arrest truly a punishment? What types of crimes do you believe qualify for house arrest only? With electronic monitoring? Describe the conditions under which offenders are court-mandated to house arrest? Based on your knowledge, explain your views of the Criminal Justice System as it relates to house arrest? Pros/Cons.
Yes, house arrest is a punishment. House arrest is almost like jail since one is contained in a specific area. It is considered as formal incarceration and a pretrial bail for an inmate who is qualified for a release (Mendonça, Morselli, & Pignataro, 2018). The only difference is that there are more rooms and one can eat the type of food and mingle with friends and families when they visit. Moreover, it is considered as a type of intermediate punishment for crimes that are not considered dangerous at all. The white collars crimes such as embezzlement of finds and fraud could qualify for the house arrest. During house arrest, the offender is confined to his or her home and required to wear an electronic monitoring device. If one is on house arrest, he or she will not take care of the business, pay the bills, and there will be no income generated during a house arrest. More so, traveling is banned, and one has to follow a few rules.
However, nowadays, the system is corrupt, and most judges and lawyers are finding ways to feed themselves from the house arrests. Some offenders also can destroy the monitoring devices, thus escaping from punishment (Chi, 2016). For instance, some offenders have developed a way that tampers the system and make themselves seem that they are at home, and yet they are not. This implies that the community will not be safe when the offender is out. Additionally, house confinement does not solve every problem as it does not solve every criminal activity. It does not rehabilitate the offenders but rather triggers them to commit more crimes.
Balsmeier, P., & Kelly, J. (2016). The ethics of sentencing white-collar criminals. Journal of Business Ethics, 15(2), 143-152.
Chi, K. (2016). House arrest: Florida’s community control program (Innovations). Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments.
Mendonça, J., Morselli, M., & Pignataro, C. (2018). House arrest with electronic monitoring: The Rio de Janeiro experience. Crime, Law, and Social Change, 70(4), 489-502.