Wednesday, September 21, 2005

From A Reader - An Inside View of the Kozlowski and Swartz Sentencing

A reader of the blog, who was "not involved in the Kozlowski or Swartz case, but [ ]      attend[ed] most of their first (mistrial)," described the sentencing as follows:

"Kozlowski was there with, among others, his wife and two daughters.
Swartz's wife was there, but his children were not (they are younger and
this would have been a very difficult experience I suppose).  Both
defendants had a number of other family, friends and supporters there.

I had never been impressed by this prosecution, but they did make a
forceful case for a tough sentence.  Essentially their argument boiled
down to: the state of New York has established a maximum penalty for
grand larceny, and this is the largest larceny in the history of the
state; if this doesn't deserve the max, what does?  They also hit both
defendants hard - they attacked the support letters written by the
friends and family as being devoid of substance.  The prosecution
refused to accept that the defendants were totally vilified in the
press, pointing to two New York Times pieces (including the one on
Friday) as "puff pieces."  The author of that article, Andrew Ross
Sorkin, was in attendance and I wonder what his take was.  If I were
more cynical, I would point out that the Times endorsed Morganthau's
opponent in the recent primary, but I guess I did just point that out.
Oddly, the prosecution also referred to the company's former directors
as "victims." 

"The statements by each defendant were not particularly moving, and there
was no acceptance of guilt (perhaps so as to not undermine their
appeal).  I was amazed at how calm and cool both were.  They were
clearly well prepared for what was to come.  After the arguments and
statements were given, Judge Obus called for a brief recess.  I ran into
Swartz in the men's room, and I was shocked that he was still smiling
during his last moments as a free man.  He looked very different since
the trials, though, having grown a full beard and cut off his hair.
When the recess finished, he returned to the courtroom, kissed his wife,
and took his seat at the defense table. 

"After the sentence was read and the request for bail pending appeal was
denied, Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz - two former titans of industry
- were handcuffed and lead away through the backdoor of the courtroom.
There were no goodbyes to their friends and family.  It was very painful
to watch.  I did not see either of them cry, though their families were.

"Ruth Jordan, the infamous juror from the mistrial was in attendance.  I
asked her how she felt, and she just said this was a "real miscarriage
of justice."  I agree.  Do these men really belong in Attica?  Why don't
we just take their money and their pride?"

(esp) (With many thanks).

Sentencing | Permalink

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