At Ken Lay's funeral, his minister the Reverend Lawson likened Lay to James Byrd, a black man who was dragged to death in a racially motivated murder near Jasper eight years ago.
"Ken Lay was neither black nor poor, as James Byrd was, but I'm angry because Ken was the victim of a lynching," said Lawson.
He later said that history will be kind to Lay eventually.
His comments, met by hearty applause, referred to Lay's recent federal trial on fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from Enron's unraveling in 2001 and four charges of bank fraud. Lay had planned to appeal his conviction and was awaiting sentencing when he died.
Now I'm all for comforting Lay's family at the moment of his death and not making him out to be an ogre. But this is a complete farce.
Ken Lay openly cheated, nay, SCREWED an entire company. People lost their life savings because of him. He falsified so much evidence that it was obvious that he would soon be headed for prison for a very long time.
If anything the fact that he underwent so much stress during the last few months could be taken as a sure sign of his guilt and perhaps even (and hopefully so) his repentence.
May God have mercy on Ken Lay, forgiveness holds no bounds with God--and it shouldn't with us. But even with the most merciful judge, Ken Lay will never be James Byrd.