Utah State Senator Wants To Take The Idea National
We all know that states have websites that track sex offenders track serial killers and that some states like Florida post mugshots of drunk drivers. Now, Utah is about to add another category to the Rogues Gallery list of websites by creating a website that tracks the whereabouts of convicted white collar criminals.
The faces of convicted mortgage fraudsters, insider traders, and shady stock brokers will soon appear online courtesy of the Utah Legislature, which on Wednesday approved a measure to build the nation’s first white-collar offender registry
The registry will be replete with a “a recent photograph” of Utah’s white-collar offenders and, in case they try to run or hide, their “date of birth, height, weight, and eye and hair color.”
Utah AG Sam Reyes, who formulated the idea for the registry when he was a defense lawyer, told the Ny Times, “White-collar crime is an epidemic in Utah. While violent crimes were devastating, many “physical wounds heal,” whereas white-collar crimes can forever deplete your life savings.”
Utah wants to send a signal that punishment for white collar crime is no long a trip to Club Fed.
The Utah registry, which sailed through the Legislature along with legislation to bring back firing squads as a method of execution and will soon land on Governor Gary Herbert’s desk. The legislation escalates the broader backlash against financial crimes and does tap into a vein of populist outrage over financial misdeeds since American public is still pissed that no Wall Street executives went to prison over the 2008 financial crisis as millions of Americans still fight to save their home.
Some Utah lawmakers fear that the registry may be overkill but it does tap into a vein of populist outrage over financial misdeeds. As much as sex offender registries spread state by state, so too could a white-collar crime registry find favor across the nation, say its supporters.
The legislation’s sponsor in the Utah Senate, Curtis S. Bramble, a Republican, plans to heavily promote the idea through his role as president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures,
Some defense lawyers are already complaining about the prospect of white-collar registries spreading to other states.
Susan Brune, who represents white-collar defendants at Brune & Richard in New York told the NY Times,“You’re adding one more punishment without any real showing that it’s needed,”
Since high dollar white-collar cases typically attract media attention, Ms. Brune remarked that “Google is already a pretty effective registry.”