Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Like a pack of overexcited bonobo chimps, the British press can barely contain their onanistic glee at the prospect of prison time for a peer of their realm. The Telegraph informed its readers Sunday morning that, “A lengthy sentence could mean that the 63-year-old Canadian-born British peer will die in prison.” And if my aunt had wheels, she’d be a trolley.

The Independent, frothing in anticipation, reports that, “Black could well lose his beloved 21,000-acre colonial-style beachfront home in Palm Beach, Florida, if a Chicago judge decides tomorrow that much of its $35m (£17m) value derives from improvements he made using money stolen from his media empire.” This should come as news to the poor guy who’s been mowing the lawns. In fact, it’s a 21,000-square-foot house on 2.62 acres. Whatever. Furthermore, accuses the writer: “Black’s family home in northern Toronto was lavishly redecorated by him and his wife, Barbara Amiel. Its most ostentatious features include an 18th-century cardinal’s throne and a domed library allegedly modelled on St. Peter’s in Rome.” Since when is decor the subject of an “allegation”? Such are the crimes of fashion. The topper, though, is James Bone, who offers up a daily schedule for Black once he’s settled into the slammer:

“Lord Black’s Prospective Jail Schedule

6:15–7:15: Breakfast7:30: Head count by bunk8:00: Prison job11:15–12:15: Lunch break3:15: End of workday3:30: Head count4:15–5:15: Dinner5:15–10:00: Free time10:00: Lights out”

Lights out indeed.

In a less fevered vein, we find law prof Peter Henning offering a carefully reasoned handicapping of who’ll get how long when St. Eve brings down the gavel. I think Henning’s a little light on his prediction for Black, but here’s hoping for the sake of humane justice he’s right.

What to Watch For at Lord Black’s Sentencing [White Collar Crime Prof Blog]

Lord Black set for prison sentence [The Times]

Black to be sentenced on Monday [National Post]

For Black, appeals for leniency [Chicago Tribune]

Black’s darkest day dawns [The London Free Press]

Black: five years in jail will be ‘a bore’ [The Guardian]

Black goes on farewell blitz as jail beckons [Sunday Times]

‘Left Out To Dry’ [Financial Post]

Black faces ruin as well as jail [The Independent]

Conrad Black ready for Chicago sentencing [Daily Telegraph]