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Napolitano: If BP Case Had Been Civil Rather Than Criminal, Settlement Money Would Have Gone to Those Harmed Instead of the Government

Oil giant BP is set to pay the largest criminal penalty in American history. The company will pay the U.S. government $4.5 billion for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. In a settlement announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder earlier today, BP agreed to plead guilty to 11 felonies associated with the deaths of the 11 people who died when the Deepwater Horizon well exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico.

On today’s Studio B, Judge Andrew Napolitano was critical of the government’s choice to make this a criminal case rather than a civil one. “If this had been a civil settlement, then the money would have been distributed to the people who actually were harmed […] Instead, this money goes to the federal Treasury for the government to spend how it wants.”

Shepard Smith argued that if the disaster had happened in the Northeast, the money would have gone to those harmed. “Here the people have a bigger voice,” Smith said of the power of the media in the North.

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