Timothy McVeigh: Could Oklahoma City bomber's stay in Denver help get an Enron executive out of jail?

Timothy McVeigh, he was put to death back in 2001 for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, isn't often used by convicts wanting to get out of trouble.

But it happened today at the U.S. Supreme Court, where attorneys for imprisoned former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling suggested that their client had been treated less fairly than McVeigh.

And the defense pivots on Denver.

According to the Associated Press, Skilling's legal team contends that their guy was unable to get a fair trial in Houston, where so many shirts were lost due to Enron's troubles. In contrast, McVeigh was tried in Denver rather than Oklahoma City in an attempt to minimize predisposed bias against him.

Moreover, the judge in the Skilling trial put together a jury in five hours -- which breaks down to about four-and-a-half minutes per juror, by the lawyers' calculations. In contrast, it took eighteen days to assemble McVeigh's jury.

Suggesting that Skilling was treated worse than a guy who blew up a building, killing 168 people in the process, is a bold move, and it could backfire. Even members of the Supreme Court, who aren't exactly members of the proletariat, may well find it tough to feel sorry for a morally dubious moneybags like Skilling.

But at least he's more sympathetic than McVeigh.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts