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Watch Out for Corporate Manslaughter

Corporate Manslaughter

Corporate manslaughter is the concept that a corporation might cause the manslaughter of an individual. Manslaughter is a crime which is considered less significant or culpable than the crime of murder, as murder requires the intent to kill, while manslaughter by nature involves no intention to kill.

The concept of corporate manslaughter might evidence itself in a situation in which a corporation's particular rules and regulations, for example, result in an individual dying while on a job. Corporate manslaughter might even include elements of voluntary manslaughter, in which a corporation might intend to cause some harm to the victim without meaning to cause death. Corporate manslaughter is notable because the concept would necessitate the application of criminal charges against the corporation, as manslaughter is ultimately a criminal charge.


A corporation is a legal entity, and thus, there is a certain element of precedent for this notion of corporate manslaughter, but the issue that arises is that many critics of corporate manslaughter claim that cases of corporate manslaughter should be solved in civil court with monetary compensation, instead of some form of criminal penalty.

Those who advocate in favor of the charge of corporate manslaughter primarily point out four advantages to the application of corporate manslaughter as a criminal charge. These four benefits include the very significance of charging a corporation for its actions in a criminal fashion, along with the social costs of being convicted for corporate manslaughter as a full crime, the enforcement of penalties by powerful organizations, along with an added level of defense for corporations, as the charge of corporate manslaughter would have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

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