Laying Down the Hammer

In 2005 and 2006 Jeffrey Skilling and Bernard Ebbers, the primary defendants in the Enron and Worldcom trials -- two of the biggest corporate corruption scandals in American history -- received 24- and 25-year prison sentences, respectively. So what message is the DOJ trying to send through a sentencing memorandum released recently, in which it recommended life in prison for a comparatively minor offender: Gerald Green, the 76-year-old California movie producer who, along with his wife, Patricia, was convicted in September of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for their involvement in a bribery scheme in Thailand.

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