Even the dead have laywers, at least if they were very rich. Attorneys for allegedly dead Ken Lay began the process of expunging his criminal record, according to the people who accord these sort of things.
Let’s take the Law Blog, for instance:
Samuel Buffone of Ropes & Gray in Washington, D.C., whom Lay had retained to represent him on appeal, filed a motion asking Judge Sim Lake to substitute Lay’s estate for the late defendant so he could appear in court on Lay’s behalf.
The motion stated that once the court recognizes him as the attorney for the estate, he will “move to vacate the convictions of Mr. Lay and dismiss the indictment.”
Lay died on July 5, in Aspen, Colo., of heart disease just weeks after his conviction on conspiracy and fraud charges. Because a final judgment wasn’t issued — he had not yet been sentenced or gone through the appeals process — Judge Lake is widely expected to toss both the verdict and indictment, wiping out Lay’s criminal record.
Inquiring minds want to know—why would dead Ken Lay care about whether he went to the next word with a criminal record? There’s a boring answer: it may prevent prosecutors from confiscating Lay’s assets from his heirs, blah, blah, blah. And then there is the batshit-crazy conspiracy answer (preferred by the likes of DealBreaker’s Bess Levin): because Ken Lay is alive and well and living in a chalet somewhere and he wants to keep his stuff out of the hands of the government that let him and God down by convicting him.
The Legal Process to Vacate Lay’s Conviction Begins [WSJ's Law Blog]