The Association of U S West Retirees



On 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.,2777,DRMN_23972_4674277,00.html