June 19, 2009
Another Blow to the now Historic Enron Task Force: Supreme Court Holds Double Jeopardy Applies
Posted by Christine Hurt

I am on vacation here in Colonial Williamsburg (where I fittingly can't get any "bars" for my phone, but I have wifi!) so I can't give this post the proper respect (or the properly punny "Jeopardy" title).  But, note that the Supreme Court has said that Scott Yeager, one of the "Enron Broadband" defendants, cannot be retried, ending a half-decade of uncertainty for the defendant.  However, the Supreme Court left the door open for the Fifth Circuit to re-determine whether the facts that the jury believed deserved acquittal where the same facts that the counts to be retried would have to depend on, as well.  This is also probably good news for one of his co-defendants, whose writ of cert was not granted, but not especially good news for his co-defendant that plead guilty a few months ago.  (Glom posts on this saga here and here)  So, I don't have time to recreate the Enron scorecard now, but it's definite that the Task Force had great success getting guilty pleas, but little success getting guilty verdicts, much less guilty verdicts that withstood appeal.  The last piece of this puzzle will be to see how much Jeff Skilling's lengthy sentence, the only "success" of the Task Force, will survive appeal, if his conviction remains at all.  When it's all said and done, the only bigger (and more expensive) organizational failure than Enron may be the Enron Task Force.

I hate to just post and run, because I know that many criminal law experts were watching the case because of its potential importance to wacky double jeopardy jurisprudence.  Hopefully, some of our readers can fill us in!

Enron, Supreme Court, White Collar Crime | Bookmark

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