Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

Black Watch: Today’s Top Stories

However optimistic Lord Black may feel now that he’s settled on A-list appellate lawyer Andrew Frey to carry on his fight at the circuit court, Friday’s sentencing of former Qwest CEO and convicted inside trader Joseph Nacchio must have sent a current of trepidation down his spine. District Judge Edward Nottingham, while crediting the various extenuating circumstances in Nacchio’s life, still moved forward with a six-year sentence. The judge’s reasoning, as reported in The New York Times, was prudent, sympathetic, and yet ultimately chilling:

“‘They all rely on Uncle Joe to take care of them,’ he said, referring to letters sent to the court by Mr. Nacchio’s relatives… ‘In many ways, Mr. Nacchio is the classic Horatio Alger story,’ Judge Nottingham said. ‘From immigrant parents, he rose to enormous heights by sheer will and talent.’

But Judge Nottingham also said that although Mr. Nacchio once was a model executive, he had been ultimately swayed by greed.

Quoting from the Robert Bolt play ‘A Man for All Seasons,’ about Thomas More’s refusal to support Henry VIII’s wish for a divorce, Judge Nottingham said that the rule of law must be respected. He said that Mr. Nacchio’s actions required punishment.

Mr. Nacchio, who wept quietly during portions of the hearing, chose not to speak before he was sentenced. After Judge Nottingham had explained his decision, Mr. Nacchio approached the bench with his hands outstretched and asked repeatedly if he could address the court.

Judge Nottingham shook his head.”

That kind of judicial intolerance for high-profile, white-collar crime, combined with poll results reported in this morning’s Star indicating the public’s growing impatience with Black’s truculence and lack of contrition, give stark evidence of just how far Black must travel to mitigate what looks more and more like a fight for his very life.

Black hires high-profile New York appeals lawyer [Globe and Mail]Heavy-hitter to defend Black [Financial Times]Ex-Qwest Chief Gets 6-Year Sentence [NY Times]Canadians say send Black to jail [Toronto Star]