Lee Richards addresses criminal justice reform on the NYU Law Compliance & Enforcement blog

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November 2, 2017

Joining an ongoing discussion about renewed criminal justice reform efforts, RK&O founding partner Lee Richards recently took to the NYU Law Compliance & Enforcement blog to voice his opinion on whether disadvantaged individuals deserved special treatment in criminal prosecutions. 

Mr. Richards stressed that changing the mens rea standard for one select segment of the population, while leaving it alone for another simply because a “bad thing” happened, would likely pose serious Equal Protection questions.  He also noted that prosecutors must prove that the defendant, regardless of advantaged or disadvantaged status, was aware of the wrongful nature of his or her conduct and not simply negligent.  As Mr. Richards wrote, "criminal intent is a critical element of any fraud prosecution, and, notwithstanding the 'responsible corporate officer' doctrine, mere negligence has not generally been criminalized."

Click here to read the full blog post.