Friday, July 07, 2006


Now, people are complaining that justice has been cheated by the death of Ken Lay because his conviction will be vacated and he will not be going to prison. Furthermore, his death has brought the conspiracy nuts out ot the woodwork. Some believe that he really did not die and that he used his wealth to fake his death and have another body substituted for his. Others believe that he committed suicide by ingesting some drugs to bring on a fatal heart attack, thereby preventing the government from seizing his wealth so that it would be preserved for his family. And then, there are those who believe he was murdered.

To begin with, Ken Lay's death has not cheated justice. Ken Lay has been a pillar of his community. He had been involved in a number of notable civic activities and has made many generous contributions to various charitable organizations. He appeared to be sincere in the practice of his religious faith. He was a loving family man - a husband, a father and a grandfather - and he was loved by his family. But all of his love and good works will be offset by his legacy as a GREEDY CORPORATE CROOK who brought about the demise of Enron, wiped out the life savings of Enron's employees, and defrauded Enron's investors out of 65 billion dollars.

Ken Lay is an example of a good person being consumed by greed. It happens all too often. There have been too many instances of corporate corruption in recent years. In some ways, our government encourages wrongdoing by corporations. There are loopholes in our tax codes which allow corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. By establishing bogus headquarters in foreign countries with extremely low tax rates, American corporations are able to legally evade billions of dollars in federal and state taxes.

With Ken Lay's history of heart disease, Enron's downfall, the long criminal trial, the guilty verdict, the numerous civil lawsuits, and the prospect of facing the rest of his life in prison, all together probably piled up enough stress to bring on his fatal heart attack. Ken Lay's uncharacteristic arrogant and angry demeanor on the witness stand was indicative of a deeply troubled stressed-out man. He brought all this stress on himself. He has been utterly disgraced and now he is dead.

Even Ken Lay's one-third of a page gushy glorifying obituary in the Houston Chronicle, which detailed his family, education, military and government service history, his good civic, culturual and charitable deeds, and his family's love for each other, all sprinkled with references to his Christian faith and a certainty that he has joined his Lord in Heaven, cannot restore his ruined reputation as it was designed to do, and led only to laughter or derision by all but his friends and family. Ken Lay paid the ultimate price and it would be preposterous to say that, by his death, he has managed to cheat justice.

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