After All, He Merely Conspired to Commit Multibillion-Dollar Fraud — It’s Not Like He Did Anything Serious

From today’s New York Times:

Jeffrey K. Skilling, imprisoned for the last six years because of his role in the fraud that caused the collapse of Enron, has reached a deal that could reduce his sentence by more than a decade.

As part of the agreement with the Justice Department, the former chief executive of the energy giant will waive his rights to any further appeals. In addition, he has agreed to allow more than $40 million of assets that were seized from him to be distributed to victims of Enron’s failure.

Employees lost their retirement savings and shareholders lost billions of dollars after the once highflying company slid into bankruptcy in 2001.

Under federal prison rules, Mr. Skilling — who had been sentenced to 24 years and 4 months — could leave prison as soon as 2017.

Somehow I am doubting that this deal will be extended to, say, the drug addict who breaks into a house, steals a hundred bucks, and then offers to pay back twenty-five cents of it in exchange for having his sentence cut in half.

Favorite quote:

“The proposed agreement brings certainty and finality to a long painful process,” Daniel M. Petrocelli, a lawyer for Mr. Skilling, said in a statement.

Yes, by all means let’s do everything we can to keep prison a shorter and more pleasant process for wealthy white-collar criminals.

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