June 29, 2010
Skilling Decision Brings Down Scrushy, Siegelman, Hargrove, and Hereimi
In today's Supreme Court Order, we see the first wave of cases being affected by the Skilling decision. The Court granted the Petitions for Writ of Certiorari in the following cases, and remanded them to the circuits listed below for reconsideration in light of the Skilling decision. This does not mean that the cases will automatically be dismissed, but it does open each of them to review in light of the fact that section 1346 only includes bribery and kickbacks.
Richard Scrushy v.United States; Don E. Siegelman v. United States - remanded to the Eleventh Circuit
Jack L. Hargrove v. United States - remanded to the Seventh Circuit (same Circuit as the Conrad Black case)
Imad S. Hereimi v. United States - remanded to the Ninth Circuit
Paula Harris v. United States - remanded to the Ninth Circuit
Mustafa Redzic v. United States - remanded to the Eighth Circuit
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In many of the cases that will be sent back, the government was, or certainly should have been, aware that the "honest services" theory was in jeopardy and nonetheless moved forward based on it when either there was no other "crime" or, on the other hand, when it might have prosecuted the alleged wrong under another theory. To me, this indicates that many prosecutors want to get their convictions, move on and let the appeals lawyers worry about the consequences.
In other instances (with some overlap with the former situation) courts denied bail pending appeal or decision on cert even though the crystal ball was rather clear that "honest services" was in trouble.
Many people who will ultimately never been convicted have lost their liberty and reputation (and a lot of their assets).
Posted by: Lawrence Goldman | Jun 30, 2010 8:54:26 AM
I've been following your commentary on the Skilling decision for a time now. It's been fascinating, and the reviews of these cases should be pretty interesting. Keep up the great work!
Posted by: Houston Lawyer | Jun 30, 2010 7:16:13 PM