Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Another Day in Enron Country

Mark Koenig finally finished testifying in the Lay/Skilling trial, to be replaced on the witness stand with Ken Rice.  This is not the first time Ken Rice is testifying as he previously appeared at the Enron Broadband trial. (see Houston Chronicle here)  The Houston Chronicle notes that Rice is testifying against his "pal," a man who he went with on a "dirt-bike tour of Baja California, a race across the Australian outback and an outdoorsy trip to the southern tip of South America."

It is common to see someone testify against their best friend in a federal criminal trial.  The pressure placed upon an individual to talk or face years in prison can be overwhelming.  Some argue that this government pressure results in false testimony, while others claim that this pressure just allows the prosecution to secure information that they normally would not have been able to obtain.  Irrespective of the view one takes on this issue, the net result is clearly going to be that the person who is subjected to having their best friend testify against them will likely never trust anyone again.  Perhaps that is acceptable if the accused is convicted.  But what happens to that person if they are acquitted?

(esp) (Note - check out Tom Kirkendall's Houston Clear Thinkers Blog here for some fascinating comments on Koenig's testimony.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2006/02/another_day_in_.html

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