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Enron Trial Information

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Submitted By zln10
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An Enron Jury Free of Grudges? Easy, Judge Says!

HOUSTON, Jan. 29, 2006 Chances are that in this city's pool of 2.3 million registered voters, there are at least 16 people who are not angry about the implosion of Enron, the largest business collapse in history. But finding them in a single day could be a challenge.! That has not deterred Judge Simeon T. Lake III of Federal District Court, who will begin the much-anticipated criminal trial of the former Enron chief executives Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling on Monday.! Judge Lake said in court on Thursday that he expected to choose a panel of 12 jurors and 4 alternates from 100 prospective members in one day. After examining responses to the jury questionnaires, Judge Lake indicated that he felt they did not show evidence of prejudice against the defendants. "I've been impressed by the apparent lack of bias or influence from media exposure," he said.! The lawyers defending Mr. Lay and Mr. Skilling have contended for months that finding impartial jurors in Houston would be difficult, if not impossible. But the judge has rejected two requests to move the trial outside of Houston, where Enron was based, and has repeatedly denied pleas by the defense lawyers to allow them to question individual jurors during the final selection process, called voir dire.! The defense lawyers say they are deeply troubled by responses to jury questionnaires, which came back with mostly negative comments about Enron and the defendants. Many Houstonians hold a grudge against Enron's leadership for the company's collapse, which directly wiped out more than 4,000 jobs and retirement accounts and sent shock waves through the city's economy.! Edward J. Bronson, a jury consultant from California who was hired by the defense to study the potential juror responses, noted that among 280 questionnaires, "greed" appeared 272 times and "crook"…...

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