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America likes nothing better than to root for the underdog who overcomes great odds to achieve a success that few would ever predict. The defense mounted by former Enron CEOs Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling to the conspiracy and securities fraud charges filed against them for their role in the company’s collapse in 2001 had all the hallmarks of the underdog stories we are accustomed to seeing in movies like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” in which the protagonist overcomes powerful corrupt opponents and his own weakness. Alas, criminal prosecutions are not movies, although they do involve telling a story to an audience made up of 12 citizens. It is in the decision on how to tell the Enron story that the final result, a conviction of both defendants, may be seen.

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