Friday, August 18, 2006

Big Tobacco lied but need not pay, judge rules


federal district court judge ruled on Thursday that cigarette makers conspired for years to hide smoking dangers but declined to impose major monetary penalties.... in Thursday’s opinion, Kessler said that remedy was also out of step with the appeals court ruling, which dictated that civil racketeering remedies focus on the prevention of future misconduct, not punishment of past misdeeds.

This is crazy. But maybe the to-be-expected result of so many years of Republicans choosing federal judges. Even when Clinton was president, the Republican Congress blocked him from appointing many appeals judges.

Non-violent drug users are punished for past actions; the law doesn't "focus on the prevention of future misconduct" in these cases, where it would make sense. The leaders of the tobacco industry suppressed evidence that tobacco kills people, in order to make big profits. I would say that puts them morally in the same category as contract killers.

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