Faculty Forum: Execute white-collar criminals?



Dr. Peter Murphy, associate professor of Philosophy, takes on a provocative premise in this month’s Faculty Forum: Is execution an appropriate punishment for people who defraud large groups of people out of huge sums of money, with an impact arguably greater than the average murder?

“Capital Punishment for Corporate Criminals” is the title of his presentation, scheduled noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday in Schwitzer Student Center Room 012. Bag lunches are welcome, and dessert and beverages will be available.

Murphy’s talk will refer to such notorious perps as Bernie Madoff, who defrauded about 3 million people of $10 billion to $20 billion, and the Enron conspirators, who robbed shareholders of $40 billion to $50 billion, caused 4,000 employees to lose their jobs, and caused 20,000 employees to lose an average of almost $100,000 each from their pension plans.

“What is the range of morally permissible punishments for such behavior?” Murphy asks. “Much of the discussion will be about comparing harms … even disparate ones like property crimes and murder.”