In Dicta

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Innocent until proven guilty...

unless it's one of these bozos?

"Enron Jury Chosen in First Day, Setting Stage for Opening Arguments
By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO
HOUSTON, Jan. 30 — In a single day, the federal judge presiding over the Enron trial here defied skeptics by selecting a 12-person jury to decide whether Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former chief executives, conspired to defraud investors in the biggest business collapse in history.

Despite expressing serious reservations about Judge Simeon T. Lake III's plans to make final jury selections in a day, defense lawyers and Mr. Lay himself said afterward that they were satisfied with the jury of 8 women and 4 men. The 12 were selected out of a final pool of nearly 100 prospects.

"They're a well-educated jury, better educated than most," Michael Ramsey, Mr. Lay's lead lawyer, said.

The jurors range in age from 24 to 66 — six have college degrees and of those, two also have master's degrees. Three work in the oil and gas industry, and a few are in accounting. Three are in education, and two are self-employed. Two are Hispanic and one is Indian; the rest are white.

"We had some issues, but we are very pleased with the jury that we have," said Daniel Petrocelli, Mr. Skilling's lead lawyer. "They know this is a court of law, not a court of public opinion."

Mr. Lay, speaking to a throng of news media gathered behind a metal barricade, said: "We are pleased with the outcome. My fate and Mr. Skilling's are in their hands."

Mr. Lay arrived early Monday, walking briskly past a phalanx of cameras, tightly clutching the hand of his wife, Linda, and looking downward. When a journalist yelled from the crowd, asking if this trial would be "a chance to clear your name," he called back, "It certainly is."

Continue reading at The New York Times (free subscription required).

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