A federal judge used his ruling in a corruption case to criticize the federal government for being lenient on criminal corporations.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, of the District of Columbia, put federal prosecutors on blast in an 84-page opinion on Wednesday in a case that approved deferred prosecution for ex-Army contractors that were indicted in a bribery and kickback scheme. In the opinion, he took aim at the government for reaching a similar deal with GM last month over its ignition switch scandal.

Sullivan wrote:

Despite the fact that the reprehensible conduct of [GM’s] employees resulted in the deaths of many people, the agreement merely ‘imposes on GM an independent monitor to review and assess policies, practices, and procedures relating to GM’s safety-related public statements, sharing of engineering data, and recall processes’ plus the payment of a $900 million fine.

GM was granted deferred prosecution in a case relating to faulty ignition switches that resulted in 169 deaths. GM, which had knowledge of the defective parts, hid its knowledge of the bad switches and lied to customers. The company agreed to a $900 million fine, and no executive or GM employee ever went to jail.

The federal government has a corrupt relationship with giant corporations and refuses to hold them accountable when they break the law. If giant corporations, like banks, are too big too fail, then perhaps they’re too big to exist also.

For more on this story, visit the Huffington PostFederal Judge Rips DOJ For Letting Corporate Lawbreakers Off Easy”

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced