Friday, September 22, 2006

It’s a Living Document, Do to the People as You Want

A Time’s article looks at another page turned in the Enron case. This one though could have some disasterous effects on what little remains of the Bill of Rights.
Ken Lay's death in July, it was assumed, meant the end of the criminal case against the former Enron chairman. But prosecutors want to change that. On Wednesday, they filed a a motion asking Judge Sim Lake to hold off on signing the paperwork vacating Lay's conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges until former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling is sentenced in late October. In the motion, prosecutors propose a new law that criminal cases not be abated when the defendant dies, as is current legal precedent. In an effort to also get a Congressional hearing on the proposal, copies were sent to the Speaker of the House and Vice President Dick Cheney………….

……………….The Enron task force wants the new law to be retroactive to July 1 — four days before Lay died. The proposal has sparked a hot legal debate among those involved in and observing the Enron case…………..

So we now have public prosecutors lobbying congress for laws. Passing new laws and making them retroactive?? Scary, I hope in a “need for more revenue” the New York Legislation doesn’t lower the speed limit to 10mph “retroactively”. I can see the resubmission of thousands for tickets. Think of all the votes they could buy then.

Skilling's defense attorney Daniel M. Petrocelli says.
"The proposed legislation is openly unconstitutional. And the motion to the court asks the court in the starkest terms to participate in a knowing violation of the Constitution. I trust the court will reject the invitation."

Umm, I wouldn’t bet on it. Mistake number one, trusting the court to uphold the Constitution.
While some attorneys, and victims of the Enron scandal, argue that letting Lay — even in death — off the hook is a miscarriage of justice, others say the proposal is mean-spirited. "It's a disguised attempt to punish Lay further — not to help crime victims," says attorney Joel Androphy, author of the legal text White Collar Crime. "It has no global purpose other than being vindictive." Even though the criminal case is over, Androphy points out, Enron victims will still be compensated, because Lay's estate will have to pay any civil judgments. He argues that the proposed law sends a message that the government could strip away other constitutional rights, from jury trials to Fifth Amendment protections. "Who knows what will be next," he says.

Hold it, “proposed law sends a message that the government could strip away other constitutional rights”. Three words New London, Conn. The message has gone out and the message reads; “It’s a Living Document,” and “Do to the people as you want”.

To better serve the people the state most force the people to serve it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too think it might be better to hold off on the judgement in the Ken Lay case, not because of his death but to give investagators time to find hidden money that is supposed to go to his survivors. Families have been ruined by his actions and his should not be able to benifit from his transgressions.