The case for prosecuting the Sacklers and other opioid executives

“If [the Sacklers] have the perception — and it’s the correct perception — that ‘people like us just don’t go to jail, we just don’t, so the worst that’s going to happen is you take some reputational stings and you’ll have to write a check,’ that seems like a recipe for nurturing criminality,” Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford University, told me.

But according to Forbes, the family “will still be worth between $1 billion and $2 billion, down from a current net worth estimate of $11.2 billion.” That is likely an underestimate, given recent reports alleging the Sacklers have billions secretly stashed away overseas. The lawsuits are, according to the plaintiffs, meant in part to stop future companies like Purdue from misleading and aggressively marketing dangerous products. But how much of a deterrent is it if the company’s owners are left with more money than they could ever hope to spend in their lifetimes? There is, however, one way to make sure the Sacklers — and the owners and executives of other companies also facing lawsuits over their role in the epidemic, including Johnson & Johnson, Endo, and Teva Pharmaceutical — don’t walk away from this largely unscathed: criminal charges, with the possibility of prison time…

Original Article (Vox):
The case for prosecuting the Sacklers and other opioid executives
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