Friday, July 07, 2006

Ken Lay Dies, The World Gets Lighter.

When Karla Faye Tucker was executed the Reich wing media rejoiced in the death of a black woman who had been convicted of the felony of murder in the state of Texas. When Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls was gunned down the Reich wing media rejoiced in the murder of two “gangsta rappers” who “preached hate”. Now, we are to believe that Ken Lay has died, from a heart attack while vacationing in Aspen, Colorado, awaiting his sentencing for being found guilty of felonious crimes that put 4,000 people out of work and left thousands of Americans with nothing. How has that very same Reich wing media reacted to such news?

I came across this USA Today article which explained:
Former Enron CEO Ken Lay, 64, whose sunny optimism and Ph.D. smarts enabled him to convert a sleepy Texas pipeline company in the mid-1980s into a global powerhouse, died Wednesday of a heart attack just over a month after his rags-to-riches career ended in a criminal fraud conviction….

As sudden and unexpected as Lay's death was, government prosecutors were studying the possibility that legal precedent might require the indictment against him to be dismissed, and his conviction erased. Under that scenario, the government could not collect the $44 million it demanded he forfeit in a court filing last week.

Former prosecutor Ellen Podgor, a law professor at Stetson University College of Law, said, "It's a very strong precedent, as clear as it could be. In the Lay case, it will mean he does not die as a convicted felon. It will be as if his conviction does not exist."

Let me try to get this straight. Because Lay died before he could be sentenced for his crimes that literally ruined the lives of thousands of people, Lay has suddenly become an innocent man? What would have happened if another rich man like Tupac Shakur has been arrested and convicted of a few felonies? What if he died of a “heart attack” before he could be sentenced? Would there be any talk of his death suddenly making him an innocent man?

Sometimes it's nice just to pretend
there's real justice in this world.

The double standard is absolutely disgusting. Lay worked all his adult life to deregulate energy markets. When that deregulation came Lay’s company, Enron, intentionally took power grids down in order to create an artificial shortage of electricity, so that energy subsidiaries of Enron could charge customers whatever they liked per kilowatt hour. Those customers were the poor, the retired, those on fixed incomes. How much of their lives were ruined for Lay’s web of criminality that he did solely to line his pockets? How many Enron workers and shareholders will be left without careers or anything to fall back on? How many will commit suicide from the shambles Lay left their lives?

Lay’s estate shouldn’t be left with a dime. Every last penny should go to all the people Lay screwed, all the people who lost their jobs, all the power line workers who lost their 401(k)s, every Californian whose electricity bill went up by 5000% in a single month while suffering brown outs and black outs.

Of course, that’s only if you believe the guy is actually dead. If the turn of events mean that Lay’s estate will be able to keep his cash, it would seem that Ken Lay “dying” was just one last business decision. After all, Aspen, Colorado isn’t the only vacation resort in the world. Just ask Rush.


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