Thursday, May 12, 2005

Down to 48 in Scrushy (Including Forfeiture Counts)

With the defense resting without the testimony of Scrushy himself, it seems that the prosecution has decided not to present additional evidence.  But it is far from over yet.  According to the Wall Street Jrl here, the judge threw out two more counts against the accused. The Birmingham News here reports that it was an obstruction of justice charge and a SOX fraud charge that have been dismissed.  It seems that the judge also has some doubt about the money laundering charges, although so far they remain.  Money laundering, initially passed to combat drug trafficking, shows up more and more as add-on charges with white collar offenses.

There are also still closing arguments to come (starting Monday) and then 48 counts for the jury to consider.  The Birmingham News notes here that 12 of these are forfeiture charges that only come into play if the accused is convicted. The large number of charges can work both ways.  On one hand it can be difficult for the defense to overcome even with a strong case as the jury might come back with a compromise verdict.  On the other hand, the jury can think the prosecution went too far and refuse to accept anything.  Of course, there is always the possibility of guilty as to all counts.  Stay tuned.

(esp)

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