Ebbers Jury Still Out
The jury in the fraud trial of WorldCom's Bernard Ebbers has deliberated three days without a verdict.
The jury has made a lot of requests for transcripts and videos. They asked for transcripts and videos of Ebbers - including his cross-examination transcript. I haven't read that they've asked for a transcript of Scott Sullivan's testimony.
You can never know how a jury is going to act, but it sounds to me like one or more of them are having trouble with Ebber's testimony that he was not familiar with high finance and had no idea of the company's accounting practices.
If Ebbers is convicted, it will mean the word of a co-operating co-defendant singing for his supper, bolstered only by the closing argument of a prosecutor, prevailed. That's too bad.
If the "dumbing down" defense doesn't work for Ebbers, what chance does Ken Lay have? Probably not much. You can bet his lawyers are watching closely. The "dumbing down" defense seems about as palatable to the public as Charles Graner's "orders from above" defense in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
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