Monday, May 29, 2006

On to the Sentencing

Clearly a topic of discussion is the upcoming sentencing of Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling.  Co-blogger Professor Peter Henning provides interesting points here.  Professor Doug Berman also has some thoughts here and here. This will clearly be a topic of upcoming conversation. 

But what are Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling thinking right now?  And what are those close to them thinking right now?  Probably many just don't care and want these two men given a maximum sentence.  But what purpose will that sentence serve?  Will it stop future criminality (deterrence)?  Could we achieve that deterrence with far lesser sentences than everyone seems to be predicting?  Is the criminal justice system just going to become a retributive machine to answer to the public outcry?


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So much of the evidence is irrelavate to the actual crime in these white collar defendant's cases. A judge shouldn't allow the antics of the prosecutor, that make the defendant look rich. They are allowed to lay out a foundation of hate for the defendant and in that atmosphere they then suggest the crime that might have been committed. How many times has the jury in post trial interviews made the comment that the defendant's own testimony turned the case. "No real evidence, we just could see he was a sorry so and so." You are often left with the opinion that if the poor sucker had performed better on the stand he wouldn't be recieving a life sentence. A bad hair day and bang you are a lifer. The government spends weeks talking about every mold on the defendant, interpreting any action as evil despite it being legal and off the subject. Stir the mob, hang the bum and ask questions later if you have the guts, because the same thing could happen to you.

Posted by: Tom Stacy | May 30, 2006 11:19:49 AM

You ask, "Is the criminal justice system just going to become a retributive machine to answer to the public outcry?"

The horse is out of the barn. It already has become that.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | May 31, 2006 9:41:13 AM

Perhaps the Enron verdicts will result in the defendants ruing their failure to contribute more to the Bush interests as that would make a presidential pardon more likely. Their conviction make it more likely that republican pols will find an Enron Paradise when they leave office.

Posted by: Howard | Jun 1, 2006 5:34:54 AM

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