Law School Dean Asks for Tougher Punishment of White Collar Criminals and of National Leaders Who Make Illegal Wars

April 11, 2008

The U.S. will continue its downward spiral until it starts prosecuting and adequately punishing white collar criminals and political leaders for their crimes, a prominent law school dean writes.

It is necessary that “the people who lie, cheat, steal, rob the middle class, defy laws of war and American domestic law about war, be prosecuted, be put in the slammer, and go to the gallows, when and if found guilty of a crime,” writes Lawrence Velvel of the Massachusetts School of Law on his website “”.

This country “has rewarded crooks with billions of dollars (but) has let the middle class go downhill (as they lose jobs too), rarely punishes, and even more rarely punishes severely, the white collar and political criminals who do these things….” Velvel wrote.

These horrors are unlikely ever to end until people like Lay, Ebbers, Kozlowski, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc., etc., “go to the slammer or, in the case of the criminal warmongers and torture mongers, go to the gallows,” Velvel wrote.

Velvel singled out among business criminals the late Ken Lay, head of the bankrupt Enron; Bernie Ebbers, former CEO of the bankrupt World.Com, found guilty of fraud and conspiracy; and Leo Kozlowski, former CEO of Tyco International, given an indeterminate prison sentence of eight to 25 years for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the manufacturing conglomerate.

“Unless and until this (prosecution) starts being done, and I stress the need for the gallows when the crime warrants it, we will never be without major crooks, without causers of major disasters, in big business, in government, in economics and in war,” Velvel wrote.

Velvel said those convicted should “be put in real slammers,” and “not in one of those federal hotel type slammers” that “we will in the long run keep getting more of the same. We will recoil from one disaster only to find ourselves facing a similar economic or warmongering disaster five or ten or twenty years from now.”

“As for the warmongering side,” he continued, “who, if he or she lived through Viet Nam, would have thunk it could happen again, yet Bush and Cheney and their fellow mental dwarfs saw to it that it did.”

Velvel went on to write that Illinois Senator Barack Obama “does seem the only presidential candidate likely to change much of the abhorrent in this country.  But a permanent shift away from the abhorrent — here no less than in countries which once were dire threats to a decent world but now seem at least as good democracies as we are, if not perhaps even better ones, Germany and Japan—will require prosecution and maximum punishment of those responsible for the criminal disasters.”

The law school dean’s comments, published last March 25, represent his personal views and not those of  Massachusetts School of Law(MSL). MSL is an independent, non-profit law school founded expressly for the purpose of providing a quality, affordable legal education to minorities, immigrants, and students from low-income backgrounds generally that could not otherwise afford to obtain a legal education.


(Further information: Jeff Demers, Massachusetts School of Law at Andover (978) 681-0800, or Sherwood Ross, Ross Associates, Miami, Florida (305) 205-8281 or .)


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