Point: Quest for fairness
By Vincent Carroll
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, May 5, 2006
If Raul Gomez-Garcia can get a fair trial in Denver, then so
can Joe Nacchio. If a state court can find a fair-minded
jury to hear the case of the man who allegedly executed
Detective Donald Young and then fled to Mexico before his
capture, then a federal court can find an unbiased jury for
the former Qwest chief executive. Nacchio's lawyers claim
he can't get a fair trial here on charges of insider trading
because he is "among the most reviled figures in recent
Denver history." Most reviled in the writings of a local
columnist or two, yes. On the occasional talk radio show,
absolutely. But most potential jurors probably couldn't
even identify the fellow.
Meanwhile, even for many of us who know something about the
case, where is the evidence of a consensus regarding his
guilt? Lots of swaggering hotshots like Nacchio are guilty
of nothing more than being, well, swaggering hotshots.
If Nacchio's lawyers want a fair trial, they should keep
Qwest retirees and shareholders off the jury, some of whom
might be seething for revenge. Succeed at that, and the
jury will be fine.
Vincent Carroll, editor
of the editorial pages, writes On Point several times a
week. Reach him at
About Vincent Carroll
Vincent Carroll, editor of the editorial pages, is a
longtime resident of Denver whose work has appeared in
numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal and
Barron's. He has also been a syndicated columnist for the
Newspaper Enterprise Association.