January 19, 2005
The Venue of the Trial of Enron Executives
The question here is not a situation of the case being filed in an improper venue. Rather, the issue before the court was whether the defendants can receive a fair trial in the proper venue.
According to Reuters (via CNN), if Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling go to trial, the case will be heard in Houston. "Although news coverage about Enron's collapse, this case, and these defendants has been extensive," U.S. District Judge Sim Lake was "not persuaded that [it] has been so inflammatory or pervasive ... that pretrial publicity will prevent a fair trial."
Although the court denied defendants' request to move the case from Houston, should the case proceed to trial it will be necessary to find a fair and impartial jury. As such, this issue is likely to be raised again during the jury selection process.