Cassell to Testify Before U.S. House Committee

On Thursday, April 3, Paul Cassell, a professor at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, will testify  before the U. S. House  of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime regarding improving the laws providing restitution to victims of federal crimes.

In his prepared testimony, Cassell will explain the importance of restitution victims of federal crimes, contending that criminals — not victims — should bear the costs.  Cassell then proposes a series of reforms to the federal restitution laws, including: 

  • That federal judges should be able to award restitution for all losses suffered by victims, not just narrow categories of losses (i.e., medical expenses or lost income).
  • That restitution should be available for all federal crimes, including particularly environmental crimes, not just crimes that happen to be listed in Title 18 of the U.S. Code.
  • That federal prosecutors should be able to obtain a restraining order forbidding defendant’s for dissipating assets that might be used to satisfy a restitution award.
  • That restitution should be awarded and enforceable even if the convicted defendant dies before exhausting his appeals (In the recent Enron conviction of Kenneth Lay, $43 million in restitution could not be awarded because Lay died after conviction).

Cassell argues that these changes are necessary to ensure full restitution for victims of federal crimes.

Listen to an audiocast of Cassell’s remarks