What would you say about a federal policy that not only discouraged corporations from meeting their ethical obligations, but prevented them from adopting the most effective measures for reducing violations of law by their employees? This is precisely the policy the government is pursuing in its war against white-collar crime.

This situation arises from the government’s decision to prosecute this war by means of a draft. In this case, it is corporations that are drafted rather than individuals. But as Vietnam should have taught us, drafts can have perverse consequences. The draft arises from the aspects of federal law and U.S. Department of Justice policy that conscript corporations into becoming deputy law enforcement agents. Consider first the standard for corporate criminal liability.