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It's a Crime

The law is giving more jail time for business decisions that harm employees and customers.

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This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Congress took action last fall when the public learned about the deaths and injuries attributed to faulty Firestone tires on Ford Explorer SUVs. And it didn't hurt that the election was not far away. Republicans and Democrats alike called for new laws to promote product safety and punish executives and owners who willfully ignore safety warnings.

In September, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) proposed brief but sweeping legislation that would have imposed a prison term of up to 15 years on anyone who knowingly allowed a defective product that later killed someone to enter interstate commerce. The law would have held responsible anyone who manufactured, assembled, imported, sold or otherwise produced or transferred the product.

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