September 07, 2007
Skilling Files Appeal in Enron Case
Posted by Christine Hurt

Here's some light weekend reading for you -- the 239-page appellate brief filed on behalf of Jeff Skilling.  I have not read it yet, but the Houston Chronicle sums up the arguments in these bulletpoints:

• Prosecutors used a flawed theory to prove the overarching count of conspiracy — a theory that has been knocked down by the 5th Circuit in another Enron-related case.

• Lake gave flawed jury instructions, most notably allowing jurors to find Skilling guilty of deliberately ignoring fraud when his defense was that no fraud existed and he wasn't knowingly ignorant of anything.

• Lake refused to move the trial from Houston, where the defense contends anger and desire for vengeance for those hurt by Enron's collapse poisoned the jury pool beyond its ability to be fair.

• Prosecutors, the appeal alleges, threatened potential witnesses and their lawyers, including ex-Enron executives who pleaded guilty to crimes, with possible reprisals if they spoke to Skilling or testified in his behalf.

• Skilling's 24-year, four-month prison term is excessive.

I did skim through the brief to see what day it was filed.  It says it was filed on September 14, 2007.  I know I've been distracted lately, but surely I haven't lost a week somewhere!

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