Jeffrey Skilling of Enron fame asks for a new trial

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Jeffrey Skilling, the former CEO of Enron is appealing his federal conviction and arguing that his 24 year sentence is unconstitutional. In May 2006, Skilling was convicted of 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading in the Enron case. The former chairman of Enron, Kenneth Lay, was convicted of many counts in the same trial, but died several weeks afterward.

The appeal cites many arguments, including:

  • Not moving the trial out of Houston was unfair to Skilling, as the community was outraged and “thirsting for vengeance”
  • The jury selection process was flawed
  • The 24 year prison sentence is not consistent with federal sentencing guidelines and statutes
  • The an executive shouldn’t be held liable for defrauding an employer when his acts are intended to benefit the employer

In December, Skilling asked for bail while his appeal was pending. The Fifth Circuit, which will hear the appeal, denied bail but suggested that some of the conviction counts may be reversed.