Humanizing the Corporation While Dehumanizing the Individual: The Misuse of Deferred-Prosecution Agreements in the United States

Andrea Amulic*

American prosecutors routinely offer deferred-prosecution and nonprosecution agreements to corporate defendants, but not to noncorporate defendants. The drafters of the Speedy Trial Act expressly contemplated such agreements, as originally developed for use in cases involving low-level, nonviolent, noncorporate defendants. This Note posits that the almost exclusive use of deferrals in corporate cases is inconsistent with the goal that these agreements initially sought to serve. The Note further argues that this exclusivity can be attributed to prosecutors’ tendency to only consider collateral consequences in corporate cases and not in noncorporate cases. Ultimately, this Note recommends that prosecutors evaluate collateral fallout when deciding whether to prosecute noncorporate, as well as corporate, defendants and that the Department of Justice adopt departmental guidelines to ensure compliance with this goal.

*J.D., December 2016, University of Michigan Law School. I would like to thank the many Michigan Law Review editors who worked on this piece, particularly Emma Shoucair, Z. Zheng, Alexandra Fedorak, James Mestichelli, and John He. Many thanks to Professor Sonja Starr for helpful feedback, as well. Finally, I would like to thank the Volume 115 Notes Office for being excellent editors and even better friends.

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