Denver Feds Reject “Perp Walks” In White-Collar Cases


Unlike many other corporate fraud defendants, former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio, indicted on 42 counts of illegal insider trading, was not paraded in handcuffs before photographers and TV camera crews in a ritual that’s known as the “perp walk,” says the Denver Post. Prosecutors allowed Nacchio to travel to Denver from New Jersey Monday night on a commercial flight and surrender the next morning to the FBI. Agents fingerprinted him and then drove him in a car with tinted windows across the street into the garage of the federal courthouse. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $2 million bond after surrendering his passport.

Arranging for a defendant to be photographed in handcuffs “is not an accepted practice in this judicial district,” said U.S. Attorney spokesman Jeff Dorschner. In 2003, a federal appeals court upheld the government’s right to march defendants before the media, rejecting the notion that it’s a violation of privacy. “We suspect that perp walks are broadcast by networks and reprinted in newspapers at least in part for their entertainment value. Yet, perp walks also serve the more serious purpose of educating the public about law enforcement efforts,” the court wrote.


Comments are closed.