Saturday, July 08, 2006

Kenny boy, dead or alive?

If Lay’s death was not a trick disappearance (as Fark puts it “Ashes of drunken homeless guy with dental records matching Ken Lay's soon to be spread in Aspen”), it might be murder.  From the Globe and Mail:

“Kenneth Lay's sudden death could prove to be an unexpected legal bequest to Jeffrey Skilling, his co-defendant in the landmark Enron Corp. fraud case.

Mr. Skilling's legal team will almost certainly invoke Mr. Lay's demise to try to reverse his own fraud and conspiracy conviction or demand a retrial, legal experts said yesterday.

That's because Mr. Lay's death Wednesday of an apparent heart attack effectively voids the entire case against the Enron founder, including the guilty verdict. Mr. Skilling, the former Enron chief executive officer who is appealing his own conviction, could now argue that much of the evidence against him stems from a case that no longer exists, argued lawyer Jacob Frenkel, a former federal prosecutor and white collar crime specialist.”

The key appears to be that Lay had to die in that small window between the finding of guilt and the sentencing [addendum I:  actually, he had to die before the conclusion of his appeal, but the point, that Lay was worth more dead, or appearing to be dead, than alive, remains the same].  What luck!

The prosecutors set the prosecution up in an arguably negligent way, possibly allowing both Lay’s assets and Skilling to slither away, and you have to wonder whether they were in on it.

[Addendum II:  an anonymous commentator points out that Lay had his autopsy within hours of his death, the morning of the day after the American national holiday, communicated to the public by an almost immediate press conference by the local coroner!!  At least they had the decency to wait until after he was ‘dead’.]