The government waited until after the 2012 election to get maximum presidential campaign money out of these companies. Now however these trials 1) allow the government to get billions from the same companies, always useful for the government and 2) remind the same companies that their survival depends on their keeping up the campaign cash. Otherwise the statute of limitations would take effect and companies might stop giving
… while the details still make good reading, it’s hard to understand just what the justice-seeking purpose of such a prosecution might be. It’s more a theatrical representation of justice, akin to the trials of pigs for mauling small children. We can assume that the folks who tried and hanged “infanticidal swine” in the French towns of Trochon and Abbeville in the 15th century (that great phrase is from a 1906 monograph on the subject by Edward Payson Evans) also felt that when something so terrible has happened, some kind of trial has to be held. It doesn’t have anything to do with holding the perpetrators responsible — and certainly not with deterrence.