Thursday, November 04, 2010

Skilling's Appeal On CNBC

CNBC's Tyler Mathisen did it again last week!

Ol' Ty managed to embarrass himself live and on camera in an interview with convicted former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling's attorney, Daniel Petrocelli. The interview took place after the Fifth Circuit's Appeals Court panel questioned Petrocelli regarding the Supreme Court's remanding to the 5th Circuit's Appeals Court to reconsider the Skilling verdicts.

To read more background on the issue, this source provides it, including this passage,

"In its ruling on the case, the Supreme Court said "honest services" prosecutions must involve bribery or kickbacks, and Skilling wasn't accused of those offenses.

The high court left it to the 5th Circuit to determine whether the error was harmful enough to require dismissal or retrial of any of Skilling's convictions."

In his interview of Petrocelli, Ol' Ty stumbled over his words and then erupted with a question to this effect,

'How does it feel to have basically gotten your client off on a technicality?'

Petrocelli was stunned by the question, taking a few seconds to compose himself. Then he dismissed Ty's question by stating they had fundamental differences in understanding the Supreme Court's ruling, so he wasn't even going to debate it. However, he noted, having the nation's highest court agree that the basis of the entire trial and jury instruction was flawed was not a "technicality."

I think it's fair to describe Petrocelli's tone as, first, incredulous, then, quickly, frosty.

I'd like to say Mathisen appeared chastened, but that didn't seem to be the case. I guess Ol' Ty didn't really even understand his mistake.

Now, I'm not a big fan of Skilling. But, if he was improperly tried, so be it. And if the Supreme Court ruled on that his trial was flawed, that sounds like significantly more than a technicality, as well.

Maybe next time they should assign a veteran court reporter to this sort of task.

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