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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Concurring: Skilling’s Punishment Fits the Crime

Over at Concurring Opinions, Dave Hoffman summarizes the “outraged” responses to Jeff Skilling’s twenty-four year sentence and voices his disagreement (he argues that the punishment fits the crime).  I couldn’t agree with Dave more.  Perhaps my days in practice are showing, but I have little to no sympathy in this instance, given the extent and magnitude of the fraud.

I was going to try to describe my own sense of outrage at the leniency that has typically been shown fraudsters (as opposed to other types of theft or drug dealing) and realized that much of what I was going to write had, in the words of the band Barenaked Ladies, “been done before.”  Without being too banal, I suppose it boils down to social class, race, and the artificial abstraction of harm associated with white collar crime.

Posted by Miriam Cherry on October 24, 2006 at 12:35 AM in Criminal Law | Permalink


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I completely, totally agreed. Skilling spent $30M on his defense (and allegedly owes his lawyers about $25M more). If he is being "punished for going to trial", then he bought one Cadillac of a defense. How is Skilling different from other criminal defendants who had co-conspirators that also flipped? Skilling certainly had his day in court--few others enjoy such due process. bh.

Posted by: William Henderson | Oct 24, 2006 11:07:26 PM

I agree with you.

Here in Houston I have heard some speculation that Skilling may be paying for Ken Lay's crimes added to his own.

Posted by: Ruchira Paul | Oct 24, 2006 4:32:00 PM

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