In limited circumstances, compliance carelessness by corporate executives who lack criminal intent can result in prison terms.  In U.S. v. Quality Egg, LLC, No. 14-3024 (N.D. Iowa Apr. 14, 2015), the defendants were two individuals who exercised significant control over the operations of an egg production company.  After a significant Salmonella outbreak was traced to conditions at a company facility, the individuals pled guilty to selling misbranded and adulterated food.  As sentencing approached, the individuals argued that they were guilty only under the “responsible corporate officer” doctrine and they had no personal knowledge of the conduct that constituted the violation, and that under those circumstances they could not constitutionally be sentenced to a term of imprisonment.  Although there were factual disagreements about whether the defendants in fact had such knowledge, the court assumed for purposes of its analysis that the defendants lacked culpable knowledge.  The court rejected the defendants’ argument under the cruel and unusual punishment provision of the Eighth Amendment, noting among other things that the violations harmed thousands of consumers and that one of the purposes of a sentence would be to deter other corporate officers. The court also rejected the defendants’ argument that a prison sentence would deprive them of their liberty without due process of law, and sentenced each defendant to three months in prison.