If a Corporation (BP) Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter, Who Goes to Prison? | AllGov | Noel Brinkerhoff
Pleading guilty to killing someone usually means going to prison…unless the perpetrator is a corporation.
This week, BP agreed to 11 counts of manslaughter for the workers killed during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, when the Deepwater Horizon oilrig blew up.
But no one from the oil giant will serve time for the convictions. Instead, BP will pay a $4 billion fine, which is equivalent to what the company made in revenue every four days last year. Also, BP will have five years to pay the fine. This news left some family members of those killed on the rig feeling bitter.
“I think BP is the real winner today,” Chris Jones, whose brother, Gordon Jones, was killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, told the Houston Chronicle. “They got what they wanted—to resolve the criminal charges,” he added, “and they get a nice five-year payment plan to pay it off.”
In addition to the 11 felony manslaughter counts, BP’s plea deal included one misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act; one misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; and one felony count of obstructing Congress by deliberately understating the amount of oil that flowed after the blowout.