Tuesday, May 31, 2005

But it's not benign, either, is it?


"[T]he act underlying the conviction -- 'persuasion' -- is by itself innocuous. Indeed, 'persuading' a person 'to withhold' testimony from a government proceeding, or government official is not inherently malign. Consider, for instance, a mother who suggests to her son that he invoke his right against self-incrimination ... or a wife who persuades her husband not to disclose marital confidences."

-- Chief Justice William Rehnquist, overturning the Arthur Andersen conviction in the Enron case

So the highest court in the land has struck down, based on a technicality involving jury instructions, the verdict which pretty much destroyed the consulting firm which had handled much of Enron's accounting data and, coincidentally, started an internal shred-a-thon just as Enron was being accused of evildoing. And once again, I ask: how soon will we be seeing this on Law & Order?

UPDATE 6/1: MotleyFool.com analyzes the decision in "Andersen Innocent? Think Again."
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