U.S. District Judge Sim Lake has kept his word. Opening arguments in the case against former Enron Corp. executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling will get under way on Tuesday after 16 jurors, including 4 alternates, were chosen on the first day of trial.
Earlier that morning, Lake told the jury pool, “I can assure you this will be one of the most interesting and important cases ever tried,” according to the Associated Press.
He stressed, however, that jurors should not use the trial to vent their anger at Enron or the defendants. “We are not looking for people who want to right a wrong or provide remedies for those who suffered in the collapse of Enron,” Lake reportedly stated.
From a pool of 54 women and 42 men, according to CNNMoney.com, 6 men and 10 women were selected.
The AP described Lay and Schilling as appearing relaxed when they arrived at a federal courthouse in Houston. Accompanied by their attorneys, they were watched by a horde of reporters and photographers.
Asked by a reporter how he felt, Lay reportedly replied, “Fine, how are you?” Skilling did not address his observers, but his attorney Daniel Petrocelli reportedly said: “We’re looking forward to it. We’re ready.”