Friday, May 26, 2006

Lay & Skilling - Appellate Issues

Although sentencing is still to come for Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, the wheels are probably turning on what issues might be used for an appeal.  Some of the issues that we may see, without predictions on their success or failure, are:

  • Venue - the court's denial of the motion to move the case from Houston.
  • Severance - the failure to hold separate trials for Lay and Skilling; this was compounded when the case proceeded after Lay's attorney became ill mid-trial.
  • Defense Witness Immunity - the failure to grant the defense witnesses immunity so that these witnesses would testify.
  • Admission of Potentially Prejudicial Testimony - e.g., Photofete
  • Willful Blindness Instruction  - did it improperly lower the mens rea standard
  • Sufficiency of the Evidence - was there sufficient evidence of the defendants' mens rea

What issues may arise as a result of sentencing, remains an open question.  The case will go the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that remanded the Jamie Olis case.


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