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Our outrageous Enron-style justice system

There is Too Big to Jail - and now there is Too Big to Keep In Jail.

This is the envelope-pushing precedent being set by the Justice Department in its dealings with convicted Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling - a.k.a. one of the hucksters whose rip-off schemes were responsible for, among other things, losing more than $2 billion of retirees' pension funds.

In a revised sentencing agreement announced late last week, federal prosecutors cited the "extraordinary resources" required to litigate Skilling's appeals as justification for reducing his sentence by more than 10 years. NBC News reports that in exchange, "Skilling would give up all of his remaining rights to appeal" and "he also would give up any claims to the $40 million he was ordered to forfeit" to the Enron victims fund. Reuters notes that such a sum - which will be handed over to a "depleted" victims fund - "pales in comparison" to the "$70 million Skilling has spent on legal fees."

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