This is the final question in a series of 3 follow-up questions relating to an earlier Q&A set with the Rocky Mountain News regarding the Nacchio trial. (You may read limited excerpts of the original Q&A set in the article entitled "DU students, professors weigh in on ex-CEO's trial “ on April 16th, or scroll down for a complete list.
3) What are the chances Judge Nottingham will allow Nacchio to remain out on bond after July 27 as he appeals the verdict?
Kevin O’Brien: The chances are good that Nacchio will remain free since he would not be considered a flight risk. The chances are especially good if Nottingham believes that Nacchio has substantial grounds for an appeal. Rigas of Adelphia, Ebbers of WorldCom, and Skilling of Enron remained free during the appeal process to the appeals court. Further freedom is based upon the appeals court’s decision. In Skilling’s case, the appeals court denied his request to remain free pending his appeal to the Supreme Court and stated: “Skilling raises no substantial question that is likely to result in the reversal of his convictions on all of the charged counts.”
John Holcomb: Based on the experience in the Skilling case and others, I believe that the judge will allow Nacchio to remain free on bond for the month or two before his imprisonment starts, but that he or the appeals court will not allow Nacchio to remain free for the year or two that his appeal might take. Given the slight chance that the defense team will prevail on appeal, it is also to Nacchio’s advantage to begin serving his time immediately and not delay the day of reckoning, so as to hasten the day of his eventual release.Armin Sarabi: The difficulty here is multiple fold. On the one hand, much of this depends on the validity of Mr. Nacchio's appeal. As I stated in the previous answer, I'm not so sure the Defense is standing on very solid ground here and therefore Judge Nottingham may find that Mr. Nacchio does not have a good chance of winning on appeal an thus denying his request to remain out on bond. On the other hand, I would like to think Mr. Nacchio is not a flight risk and should remain out on bond. However, we have to consider the fact that Mr. Nacchio is the last of the CEO's involved with the major corporate scandals of the Enron/World Comm. era, and is very well aware of the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence (even though he will likely spend his time in a cushy Federal Prison). Considering the magnitude of his crime and the circumstances of the case, I will venture to say Judge Nottingham will (hopefully) refuse Mr. Nacchio's request to stay out on bond pending the results of an appeal.