Law Review International Journal of Law and Jurisprudence Open Source Online Publication Edited by the Union of Jurists of Romania and Universul Juridic Publishing House e-ISSN 2246-9435
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Protection of the environment through criminal Law: an american perspective



In this article, I consider how the United States approaches the question of what conduct is criminalized under the environmental laws and what entities should be held accountable for environmental crime. Part I of this article explains how the act and mental state requirements under American law do not impose significant limits on what conduct is criminalized. Part II of this article suggests that criminal enforcement should be reserved for cases where aggravating factors are
present and summarizes my research regarding the extent to which prosecutors have focused on matters involving those aggravating factors. Part III argues that both corporations and individuals should be held accountable when criminal violations occur and asserts that criminal prosecution serves retributive, utilitarian, and expressive purposes, particularly for corporate environmental crime. I conclude that a robust criminal enforcement regime should be part of a multi-tiered
enforcement scheme under the environmental laws with both corporate and individual liability.