Prosecution of Public Corruption: An Abridged Overview of Amendments Under H.R. 2572 and S. 401 [September 21, 2011]   [open pdf - 225KB]

"The Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act (S. 401) and the Clean Up Government Act of 2011 (H.R. 2572) are virtually identical proposals, one introduced by Senator Leahy and the other by Representative Sensenbrenner. Federal officials prosecute corruption--public and private; federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal--under a number of statutes including those that outlaw bribery, bribery involve federal programs, mail fraud, and/or wire fraud. The bills would expand the scope of these and related federal statutes, increase the penalties for those convicted, and amend related procedures to facilitate prosecution. The bills represent a merger of two prior efforts. One involved reactions to the Supreme Court's 'Skilling' decision which limited honest services mail and wire fraud prosecutions to cases of bribery and kickbacks. The other involved a more general concern over the state of law in the area of public corruption. The Senate Judiciary Committee addressed this second concern when it reported S. 1946 to floor during the 110th Congress. The bills track many of the provisions in that earlier proposal. They also mirror proposals offered in the last Congress in the wake of 'Skilling.'"

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