This month, the U.S. Justice Department opened criminal and civil investigations into the BP oil spill. Will BP executives go to jail?
The Times has a nice piece on the potential 3-15 years BP executives could serve, suggesting that mid to senior-level managers at BP are most at risk of criminal prosecution for “gross negligence”. We know BP’s CEO Tony Hayward has no fear of jail time and most people I speak to are very skeptical that any of the BP executives will spend time in prison, despite this Facebook page with more than 1300 members calling to arrest Tony Hayward NOW.
The ecological impacts are currently incalculable but the platform explosion killed 11 platform workers, injured 17 others, and here is the tally of wildlife deaths as of today (presented in an excessively mild format):
To put things in perspective, last year, a man in Washington state was fined $160,000 and sentenced to 30 days in jail for intentionally mislabeling 136,000 pounds of turbot from China as much higher priced U.S. halibut. Also last year, financial mismanager Bernie Madoff received a 150-year prison sentence. An 18-year-old from Texas who graffitied $7,300 worth of property got eight years in prison. But the people responsible for an oil spill that killed 11 people, injured 17 others, and will do at least $20 billion in damages won’t go to jail?