The intimidating patriarch of the Galante family was eventually arrested for his illegal business dealings. Jimmy Galante was charged with crimes including extortion, evading the IRS, and racketeering as well as wire fraud. According to a report by the Hartford Courant, Galante not only sabotaged and strong-armed competing garbage disposal companies; he also tampered with witnesses by telling them what to say in court.
It is appropriate to restate our understanding of the requirement that criminal conduct must be delineated with a reasonable degree of definiteness. Commonwealth v. Reilly, 248 Mass. 1 (1924). Commonwealth v. Pentz, 247 Mass. 500 (1924). Fundamental is the premise that a penal statute must be sufficiently well-expressed that those who may be subject to its penalties should not be forced to guess at its meaning. McQuade v. New York Cent. R.R., 320 Mass. 35, 40 (1946). Yet, a statute does not fail to satisfy constitutional requirements merely because it uses general terms. Jaquith v. Commonwealth, 331 Mass. 439, 442 (1954). If the language which is challenged as being vague conveys a definite warning of proscribed conduct--when measured by common understanding and practices--it is constitutionally adequate. Commonwealth v. Jarrett, 359 Mass. 491, 496-497 (1971). Language of statutes, criminal statutes included, may also be given definite meaning when viewed in light of common law interpretations or against the background of the terms' statutory history. Commonwealth v. Balthazar, 366 Mass. 298, 300 (1974). Commonwealth v. Brasher, 359 Mass. 550, 553 (1971).
offence as to constitute a cruel and unusual punishment.\" McDonald v. Commonwealth, 173 Mass. 322, 328 (1899), aff'd, 180 U.S. 311 (1900). Underlying this principle is \"a precept of justice that punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to offense.\" Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349, 367 (1910). But in judging legislative determinations of crimes and punishments, we exercise our powers of review with great caution. Commonwealth v. Jackson, 369 Mass. 904, 909 (1976). As we have earlier observed, the Legislature's power to proscribe conduct and to prescribe penalties is necessarily broad and its judgment is to be accorded due respect. [Note 7] Commonwealth v. Jackson, supra. Commonwealth v. Morrow, 363 Mass. 601, 610-611 (1973). Only where the punishment is so disproportionate to the crime that it shocks the conscience and offends fundamental notions of human dignity may we declare a criminal sanction to be in violation of the Eighth Amendment or art. 26. Commonwealth v. Jackson, supra at 910, citing In re Lynch, 8 Cal. 3d 410, 424 (1972).
analysis: (1) the nature of the offense and of the offender, (2) a comparison with penalties of other jurisdictions for the same offense, and (3) a comparison with penalties for more serious crimes within the jurisdiction. Viewed according to this test, the proposed sentencing provisions questioned here, we conclude, are not in violation of the constitutional proscription against \"cruel and unusual\" punishment.
We begin by examining the nature of the crime of drug distribution and what we may assume to be the rationale for mandatory sentencing. There can be little doubt that the problems connected with traffic in narcotics are serious social concerns. Indeed, criminal narcotics sales are not simply isolated economic transactions. They may be said to form the root of a pervasive cycle of destructive drug abuse, a phenomenon which accounts for untold numbers of crimes of violence and crimes against property. President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, Task Force Report: Narcotics and Drug Abuse, 7, 10-11 (1967).
such harsh terms ordered for offenders whose only crime was the possession of a small quantity of narcotics, we would be more hesitant in certifying these penalties under the Eighth Amendment or art. 26. See Downey v. Perini, 518 F.2d 1288 (6th Cir.), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 423 U.S. 993 (1975); Davis v. Zahradnick, 432 F. Supp. 444 (W.D. Va. 1977); People v. Lorentzen, 387 Mich. 167 (1972).
Turning to the other two prongs of the trilateral \"disproportionality\" test, we correspondingly find no constitutional barrier to enactment of the proposed legislation. The instant drug bills are not unlike severe penalty provisions for narcotic offenses that can be found in other States. See, e.g., N.Y. Penal Law Section 220.21 (McKinney Supp. 1979); N.J. Stat. Ann. Section 24: 21-19 (West Supp. 1979). Similarly, when viewed in comparison to the prescribed penalties for the commission of more serious crimes in the Commonwealth, the suggested mandatory sentences for those found trafficking in sizeable amounts of narcotics do not appear to be excessive. Cf. Carmona v. Ward, 439 U.S. 1091, 1098-1102 (1979) (Marshall, J., dissenting from denial of certiorari).
In recent years the US Justice Department has pointed to what it has termed its successful prosecutions of corporate wrongdoing. The penalties have sometimes reached into the billions of dollars. Last year, for example, the Justice Department won a criminal case against the French bank BNP Paribas that resulted in the bank paying a record $8.9 billion fine. But no BNP employee was charged with a crime.
This article critically examines wage theft by employers from employees. In addition to documenting how wage theft disproportionately affects marginalized workers, the article reveals how seldom these offenses are recognized as crimes and documents the normalization of wage theft through the neoliberal rhetoric that renders it unseen. Overall, we argue that wage theft extends far beyond the intentional, overt nonpayment of wages by atypical employers and encompasses many more insidious forms of stealing workers' time and wages. The article concludes with suggestions for approaching wage theft as an opportunity to actively resist neoliberal morality in all its (dis)guises.
We acknowledge that Mr. Johnson's life sentence, under the habitual offender law, is intended as punishment not only the current conviction, but all prior convictions as well. Legitimate sentencing goals notwithstanding, Mr. Johnson's status as a fourth felony offender \"cannot be considered in the abstract.\" Solem, 463 U.S. at 296. As previously noted, the trial judge found that all his prior felonies were for nonviolent crimes. And the instant offense, the one which set in motion the habitual offender proceedings, is shockingly minor in nature. No person was harmed, nor any property damaged. Had Mr. Johnson taken the fifteen dollars but not by entry into a vehicle or other structure listed in the simple burglary statute, he would have been convicted of misdemeanor theft.
For years legal commentators and jurists have expressed concern at the tendency of Congress, for the political cause of the moment, to persist in adding more and more offenses to the U.S. Criminal Code that were never Federal U.S. crimes before. This is being done at the same time that crime rates over the past decade or so have dropped and State and local police forces have dramatically improved their skills and technology. There are really fine police forces all over the country today. An extraordinary number of police officers have college degrees and many advanced degrees.
Most people do not understand that a majority of crimes -- theft, rape, robbery, and assault -- are not Federal crimes and are not subject to investigation by the FBI or any other Federal agency. They could not do so if they wanted to because they have no jurisdiction. They can only investigate Federal crimes. It has been this way since the founding of our country, and it fixes responsibility for law enforcement on local authorities where it should be.
Death penalty in the country was abolished under the 1987 Constitution -- the first Asian country to do so -- but was reinstated under President Fidel V. Ramos in 1993 in response to increasing crime rates. It was again abolished under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006, reducing the harshest penalties to life imprisonment and reclusion perpetua.
A bill seeking to reinstate the death penalty has recently been approved at the sub-committee level in the House of Representatives, and a principal author is optimistic on an \"overwhelming\" support from his colleagues. Pacquiao, who had filed Senate Bill 185 proposing that death penalty be reimposed and the penalties be increased for heinous crimes involving dangerous drugs in October, is positive that fellow senators would back the bill.
The authors advocate for a number of policies to address this problem by reducing incarceration, including eliminating disparities between minimum sentences for possession of crack versus powder cocaine, repealing mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug offenses and other nonviolent crimes, and increasing funding for social, educational, and employment programs for released offenders.
Count two charges the willful failure to set forth certain information in an annual report of the corporate defendant required to be filed with the New York Stock Exchange, in violation of sections 78m and 78ff(a) of Title 15 United States Code, 15 U.S.C.A. 78a, 78ff(a). Section 78m commands every issuer of a security registered on a national securities exchange to file with the exchange, in accordance with such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe, generally described information and documents, including annual reports, as prescribed by the Commission. Section 78ff (a) provides that any person who willfully violates any provision of the chapter, or any rule or regulation thereunder, the observance of which is required under the terms of the chapter, shall upon conviction be subject to the specified penalties. Thus, the crime consists of the willful failure to set forth identified information required by the Commission in a specified document prescribed by the Commission. Count two adequately incorporates the elements of the crime. It charges three of the defendants by name with willfully and knowingly failing to set forth in an annual report, Form 10-K, prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the required information about the approximate amount of and material interest, direct or indirect, of Lowell M. Birrell, a director and officer of the corporate defendant, in material transactions during a specified period of time and with specified persons. The defendants are fully and fairly informed of the charges they are required to answer, without any further statement of facts showing how the alleged omission was material, what the particular transactions were, or the amount of and material interest of the defendant-director. 59ce067264