Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -
General News

Here's How to Fix the Honest-Services Fraud Law

By       Message Roger Shuler       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

News 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 11/11/10

Author 13717
- Advertisement -

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

- Advertisement -

The U.S. Supreme Court declared the federal honest-services fraud law unconstitutionally vague in late June, and a move already is afoot to reinvent the statute.

Based on early reports, it appears the Justice Department and Congress are taking the wrong approach. Anyone who has followed either of those institutions in recent years should not be surprised by that. But this is an important issue, and the fix on the fraud law needs to be done the right way.

- Advertisement -

We don't claim to be experts on the crafting of federal statutes. But we have studied the honest-services issue extensively, and we have some ideas on how the law should be worded.

First, we have conflicted feelings about the honest-services law. On the one hand, we are pleased that the Supreme Court's ruling in a case involving former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling means the defendants in the Don Siegelman and Paul Minor cases have an enhanced chance to get their convictions overturned. Those two cases never should have come down to a technicality on the honest-services law; appellate courts should have overturned the convictions on numerous other grounds. But the Siegelman and Minor defendants could benefit from the high court's finding that the law now applies only in cases involving bribes and kickbacks--and we are all for anything that allows innocent people to go free.

The down side, however, is that the Skilling ruling essentially makes the honest-services law worthless. Other federal law already covers bribes and kickbacks, so the honest-services law--as it stands now--is pretty much unnecessary.

- Advertisement -

While prosecutors unquestionably used the old honest-services law in an abusive fashion, such a statute is needed. The point of the law is to punish misconduct where there is a non-financial motive--or where a financial motive cannot be proven.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


- Advertisement -

News 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It


I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Boy Scouts and the Horrors of Their "Perversion Files"

Bush vs. Obama on Spending: It's No Contest

Why Is Karl Rove Planning to Visit the Backwoods of Alabama?

What's the Real Story Behind Karl Rove's Divorce?

Is "Morning Joe" Scarborough a Murderer?

Rove Might Be Trying To "Pull A Siegelman" With Julian Assange