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October 23, 2006

Skilling gets guideline sentence of 292 months

As well reported by Howard Bashman here, Judge Sim Lake sentenced Jeff Skilling at the low end of the (now advisory) 2000-era Guidelines range by imposing a sentence of 292 months of imprisonment (That's 24 years and 4 months for those not good at dividing quickly by 12.)

Because Skilling was sentenced in the Fifth Circuit, his within-guideline sentence will be deemed presumptively reasonable on appeal (though I suppose Skilling could contest on appeal some guideline calculation issues).  Notably, I do not believe any other high-profile white-collar defendants have received a within-guideline sentence recently.  Though WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years, the guideline range in that case was life, I believe.

I have not heard if Judge Lake has plans for a written opinion in this case, but I hope he will write up an explanation for his various decisions.

UPDATE:  Ellen Podgor and Peter Henning at White Collar Crime Prof Blog have lots of interesting reactions here.  I found this comment by Peter especially provocative:

While Jeffrey Skilling receives 24 years for presiding over the collapse of Enron, former Congressman Randy (Duke) Cunningham sells his office to a string of defense contracts for a bit over $1 million and receives a sentence of 8 years.  Soon-to-be former Congressman Bob Ney will likely be sentenced to less than 3 years in prison for selling out his office to lobbyists led by Jack Abramoff.  How can there be such a disparity between the sentences for public corruption and the corporate frauds perpetrated by Ebbers and Skilling?

October 23, 2006 at 05:41 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Any word on the motion for bail pending appeal?

Posted by: Bobbie | Oct 23, 2006 6:26:01 PM

Skilling's loss amount effected many more people than Cunningham. There is no comparison. Bail pending appeal is his hope now.

Posted by: Ronald Richards | Oct 23, 2006 6:58:50 PM

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