Thursday, July 21, 2005

An Enron mock juror looks back, says "huh?"

The new kid in Bloggerville, Slampo, served as a "mock juror" before the real Enron Broadband case went down in flames the other day in Houston. After that experience, he's a bit surprised the government came up dry, given the apparent "mood" of the times. Included in his post: references to Nazis, Ayn Rand and "cash."

Our fellow mock jurors seemed even more predisposed against the defendants, or anybody and anything remotely associated with “Enron.” You would have thought that they all had taken a soaking on the company’s stock or had relatives who worked there. One old guy even pounded his fist on the table when he made what we thought was a strained comparison between Enron executives and Nazis. We don’t remember too much about the day --- other than that the food was good and they paid us in cash (thanks!) --- but we do recall thinking that it would probably be difficult to assemble an impartial jury in Houston for these EBS jokers.

Slampo recalls meeting former Enron exec-turned-government-witnessKen Rice in a social setting and coming away less than impressed.
Rice didn't impress away from the chips 'n dip tray, either. When he testified, he gave false testimony, the first of several blunders by government lawyers, writes
Tom Kirkendall at Houston's Clear Thinkers.

In dissecting the government's case, Kirkendall concludes the feds are a whole lot better at spinning the media than walkin' the walk in court.
The Task Force has always been better at demonizing Enron in the media and bludgeoning former Enron executives into highly-publicized plea bargains than actually proving its charges in court. The scorecard after the Enron Broadband trial is that the Enron Task Force -- in over three and a half years on the job -- has prosecuted to trial seven former Enron executives and obtained precisely one conviction of a mid-level Enron manager.

[Slampo's Place]
[Houston's Clear Thinkers]

1 comment: said...

I caught wind of some of this, the feds tried to drop something like 150 charges at a time on these guys but of course what they did,instead, was confuse the bejeezus out of the jury.

The idea was to create the pretense of guilt in the jury's minds by piling up charges to the sky, as well as to get the guys on something, anything (as in, if you miss on the first fifty there's a hundred more counts to go.) But it backfired because no jury in the world will be able to keep up with that many charges.