By now everyone has heard the theory that Ken Lay’s death might technically mean that Lay went to his grave an innocent man. Even though he had been convicted, since Lay died prior to sentencing and with possible appeals still available, his verdict was not final, the theory goes. But the latest idea is that Lay’s death not only lifts the guilty verdict from Lay himself, but from his co-defendant Jeffrey Skilling.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that:
Mr. Skilling's legal team will almost certainly invoke Mr. Lay's demise to try to reverse his own fraud and conspiracy conviction or demand a retrial, legal experts said yesterday.
That's because Mr. Lay's death Wednesday of an apparent heart attack effectively voids the entire case against the Enron founder, including the guilty verdict. Mr. Skilling, the former Enron chief executive officer who is appealing his own conviction, could now argue that much of the evidence against him stems from a case that no longer exists, argued lawyer Jacob Frenkel, a former federal prosecutor and white collar crime specialist.
So Ken Lay’s death frees Jeffrey Skilling from paying the price for his crimes? Maybe there is something to the Christ analogy after all.
Lay's death could set Skilling free [Globe and Mail]